Israel has not fully deterred Iranian aggression in Syria
Netanyahu was responding to threats made by Hossein Salami, Iran’s second-in-command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who threatened recently to “eliminate” Israel if it tries to attack Iran. He said, “Our goal is to eradicate Israel from the world’s political map.”
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani, a close aide to Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, threatened Israel as well, saying Iran would continue to develop its ballistic-missile capabilities to counter Israel’s “acts of stupidity.”
On Jan. 29, Dan Coats, U.S. director of national intelligence, warned of increased chances of a regional war when he told the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “Israeli strikes that result in Iranian casualties increase the likelihood of Iranian conventional retaliation against Israel.”
In Coats’s view, Israel has not succeeded in deterring Iran from building up its military presence in Syria.
Indeed, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, speaking at the 11th annual INSS conference that just took place from Jan. 29-31 in Tel Aviv, warned that Iran will likely “intensify its responses” to Israeli strikes in Syria and will “retaliate with greater force.”
Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, agrees with Coats. Inbar told JNS, “It’s a continuation of what we’ve seen before. We tried to prevent the enrichment of the military presence of Iran in Syria. So far, we have been successful in preventing [them from] establishing air bases and naval bases, and probably also bases for launching missiles. And we see a determined effort on the part of Israel, which is not likely to stop. On the other hand, we see a similar determined effort on the part of Iran. It’s not clear that so far we have been successful in deterring them from continuing.”
Read More: Sun Sentinal
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