According to new reports in the Israeli media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against allowing Iran to establish bases inside his country.
Hadashot News, formerly Channel 2, broke the news that the message was conveyed to Assad through an intermediary, and that it stated Israel would depart from its stated policy throughout the six-year Syrian Civil War and intervene militarily if the dictator gives Iran permission to “establish a military presence” in his country.
Hadashot’s Middle East analyst, Ehud Yaari, reported that if Assad “invites Iranian forces to establish themselves in Syria via an agreement of any kind,” the change in policy will be triggered. Iran already supplies extensive logistical, technical, and financial support to the Assad regime and his military forces while also arming, training, and financially backing the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.
Israel, meanwhile, has been providing humanitarian aid to refugees displaced by the civil war. It also has struck back when the fighting crosses over its border, and when Iran is attempting to provide arms and supplies to Hezbollah.
Iran, Russia, and Turkey have been discussing their join future plans for Syria. Those arrangements require all foreign forces that do not have an agreement or invitation from Assad to leave. The Hadashot report stated the warning was likely meant to deter Assad from making an invitation of that sort to Iran.
The independent security and intelligence journalists at DEBKA have already reported there are at least 13 Iranian military bases established in Syria, and at least one of them has been undergoing extensive upgrades.