Israel TV10 reports Iran as having instructed the Hezbollah & Syria to provoke conflict on northern border, as a ploy to increase Iran’s regional influence.
By Israel Hayom Staff & Reuters
Iran has recently increased its pressure on Hezbollah and Syria to carry out attacks on the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon borders, Channel 10 News reported Tuesday.
Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij, who is also deputy commander of the Syrian armed forces, met his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan on Tuesday, in Tehran.
The rare visit was aimed at “strengthening coordination and cooperation between the two armies … especially in the face of terrorism and common challenges in the region,” the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said.
According to Channel 10, the Syrian official was instructed to mount “forceful responses” over the recent alleged Israeli strikes in Syria.
Arab media reported Sunday that the Israeli Air Force had struck sites in the Qalamoun Mountains, north of Damascus, twice last week. The report was not corroborated by any Israeli source.
“We will not allow anyone to infringe on Syria’s sovereignty,” Dehghan told Iranian media.
A growing number of reports from Syria suggesting that President Bashar Assad’s regime is on the verge of collapse and is giving way to increasing Iranian involvement in the war-torn country are being closely monitored by Israel.
Channel 10 Arab affairs analyst Zvi Yehezkeli hedged that Iran, which is striving to tighten its grip on the region even at Syria’s expense, has instructed Syria and Hezbollah to provoke Israel, hoping that the potential security escalation will lead to a full-blown conflict between Israel and Syria.
“Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance will not allow their enemies to harm Syria or the region. Iran supports Syria unequivocally, and will continue to pursue the [two] nations’ strategic relationship,” said a joint statement issued by the Syrian and Iranian defense ministers on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Army Radio reported that Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor has called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council to condemn Syria over a recent infiltration attempt on the northern border.
Sunday saw the Israel Defense Forces thwart an attempt by a four-man terrorist cell to place explosives on the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights. A military aircraft scrambled to the area and struck the cell, neutralizing the threat.
“Israel holds Syria responsible for any attack or attempted attack emanating from its territory,” Prosor said.
In his letter to Ban and the Security Council, Prosor wrote, “In recent months, the Syrian government has allowed terrorists to use its territory as a launching base to plant roadside bombs, fire rockets into Israel, and open fire on IDF forces inside Israel.
“I have repeatedly warned about the growing threat in northern Israel. In my remarks last week to the Security Council, I described how Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is openly operating in the Golan Heights and preparing for a violent confrontation with Israel.”
The international community, Prosor wrote, “can no longer ignore the warning signs. The threat to our region is very real. Israel will not accept any attacks on its territory and it will exercise its right to self-defense and take all necessary measures to protect its population.
“I urge the Security Council to immediately and unequivocally condemn this attack and demand that the Syrian government abide by its obligations under international law.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=25105