(Above) Iranian revolutionary guard soldiers march during the annual military parade marking the Iraqi invasion in 1980, which led to an eight-year-long war (1980-1988) in Tehran, Iran, 22 September 2013. Iranian president Hasan Rowhani said that Iran only wants to end the civil war in Syria for avoiding a new escalation of violence in the Middle East.
Israel is taking all the possible measures to prevent Iran’s military expansion closer to the Israeli northern border via Syria, Nachman Shai, a member of the Knesset, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
Recent satellite photos from ImageSat International taken outside Syria’s capital Damascus allegedly show that Iran has constructed a likely missile base that can strike anywhere in Israel, Fox News reported on Tuesday, clarifying that the imagery shows two new white hangars, each roughly 30 yards by 20 yards, which could be used to store short-and-medium-range missiles.
“I cannot confirm whether [if] it is true or not, but in general we do not want to see Iran in Syria. We do not want to see Iran on our border. We will do our best to stop them as far as possible from our border. I hope there will be no war with Iran because we already had enough of wars in the Middle East but we are taking all the measures which are in our disposal to block Iran’s ways to Israel’s northern border,” Shai said.
Tehran has been backing Damascus in its struggle against terrorist groups in the course of the deadly conflict that broke out in 2011. Within the framework of Iran’s support, Tehran has sent military advisers to train troops loyal to Damascus.
Israel, however, viewed Iranian activities as a threat to national security and repeatedly warned that Iran was allegedly building a permanent military base south of country’s capital of Damascus.
February was marked by a major escalation in the conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria. Earlier this month, the Israeli army said its helicopter intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria and that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Iranian targets in Syria. The Israeli moves prompted fire from Syrian air defense systems, resulting in an Israeli F-16 fighter jet being hit. In the second wave of the attack, the Israeli forces struck 12 targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense batteries and Iranian military facilities, the country’s Defense Forces (IDF) said.
Amid the tension, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will further act to prevent Iran from establishing the permanent presence in Syria.