On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the most recent ceasefire announcement did not involve any commitment for Russia to force Iran out of Syria, saying that Iran can maintain a legitimate presence in Syria.
This isn’t sitting well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who urged the world to unite and force Iran out of Syria at all costs. Now, he’s saying Israel is prepared to act alone to ensure Iran has no permanent presence there.
The narrative of Iran even wanting a “permanent” presence in Syria seems to be more or less wholly an Israeli creation, based on reports of building at a Syrian military facility somehow being extrapolated to it being an “Iranian base.”
Iran’s presence in Syria is vastly overstated at any rate and rests on the assumption that all of the Shia militias fighting alongside Assad in Syria, militias which come from all over the world, are “Iranian” forces, as opposed to just combatants in the sectarian conflict.
Israel’s standard for “no Iranians” in Syria has effectively been broadened to include the Syrian government at any rate, and the pledge to act alone suggests Israel is moving closer to joining the Syrian War outright.
Watch Benjamin Netanyahu speaks via satellite to participants at the JFNA
Top photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)