Lieberman Says Iran Scaled Back Activity in Syria

Lieberman Says Iran Scaled Back Activity in Syria

Saturday, 1 September, 2018 - 10:30
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visits an army drill in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the border with Syria. (Reuters)
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman noted that Iran has reduced its activity in Syria, saying it has directed its attention elsewhere.

“The Iranians have reduced the scale of their activity in Syria,” and are focusing on the Iraqi and Yemeni fronts, he said.

His remarks were made after a field tour in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and after being briefed on the Israeli army assessments of the situation in Syria and the updates of the Iranian presence there.

Lieberman stressed Israel will not allow Iranian intelligence to set up bases in Syria under regime cover, adding that there was no official agreement between Israel and Russia regarding the Golan Heights or Syria.

In this context, he said that Iran has bureaus in Damascus that are less than 100 kilometers away from the ceasefire line in the Golan despite a Russian commitment to keep it away from the area.

He added that the Iranians have not “built a port in Syria, and they have no airport there, but they have not abandoned the idea. They are continuing to negotiate with the regime on the creation of garrison outposts."

In addition, the minister suggested the establishment of a committee at the Israeli Ministry of Public Security to be in charge of supervising the funds allocated to “terrorism being transferred to the Middle East.”

Pictures taken by ImageSat International showed a suspected Iranian missile factory in Syria.

Israeli sources said that Israel is aware of this facility, but it has not targeted it because it is located in the Wadi Jahannam area that is near a Russian base that is equipped with the advanced S-400 air defense missile system.

Israel does not want a confrontation with Russia and is seeking to resolve the dispute over this factory through the current diplomatic channels, added the sources.

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