The Syrian conflict that has raged for years has drawn in multiple interests throughout the region and international community. Peace attempts have been led by the United Nations but have resulted in little progress. Syrian President Assad, with the backing of Russia and Iran, has begun to retake territory from the rebel groups. These efforts have resulted in the use of chemical weapons and a growing humanitarian crisis.
Now the Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani issued a warning to Israel regarding its attacks on the Syrian army and its allies. Israel has attacked Syria in response to attacks by Iran from Syria.
“The Zionist regime has been trying to establish a crisis in Syria and has taken steps to directly support terrorist groups and target the Syrian army and forces who are confronting terrorism,” said Shamkhani.
The Iranian regime also ridiculed claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran is hiding prohibited nuclear material in a warehouse. Netanyahu also criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who he claims have not been vigorous in questioning the Iranian regime regarding its nuclear material and its plans for this material.
Iran regime long-term military presence in Syria
Israel is concerned that Iran is now establishing a long-term military presence in Syria, thus creating a security issue on their border. The Israeli government says it has carried out 200 attacks in Syria on Iranian targets.
Other countries have troops in Syria, supposedly to address the ISIS threat, but it also appears to be a response to the increasing influence of Iran. John Bolton, a U.S. National Security Advisor, announced this week that the U.S. would not pull out of Syria as long as Iran had troops in the country. U.S. President Donald Trump also focused on Iran during his speech to the UN General Assembly, noting that their “regional agenda is aggression and expansion.”
Questions remain regarding the future of Syria
For now, Israel has not responded to the comments from this Iranian official, but it clear that the situation in Syria is now starting to spill out into other regional issues. Conflicts are growing between Iran and Israel. International organizations are focusing on addressing the humanitarian issues. At the same time, there is evidence that Iran is funding a variety of militias and terrorist organizations of its own.
Russia has also indicated that it will be supplying Russia with a S-300 surface-to-air missile system, despite strong objections from Israel. The Russian government also accused Israel of indirectly causing a Russian military jet to be downed by Syria air defenses.