Iranian Presence in Syria is Explosive for Israel
The following is an editorial by Armstrong Williams.
With the ever-growing ominous presence of Iran deeply embedded within Syria, you better believe that the State of Israel’s concern for its security is sharpening.
For the uninitiated, let me lay out the scene. A maniacal tyrant by the name of Bashar al-Assad is at the helm in Syria. This dictator, who succeeded his father in the role, has ruthlessly killed innocent people with chemical weapons and is today providing a safe haven for Iranian military within its borders. All of this is taking place within dangerously close proximity to Israel’s border and the citizens who live in the north of the country.
It's well known, today, Iran remains the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism. For years, Tehran has worked tirelessly to earn this title, providing logistical, financial and moral support to some of the most violent international extremists.
And for years, the unelected Iranian mullahs who run the country have unabashedly threatened Israel’s existence and decried America.
Unverified recent reports that Israeli missiles are suspected of striking an Iranian arms shipment at the Damascus airport generated substantial speculation.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group, the missiles targeted a warehouse that was home to a newly-arrived arms shipment from Iran to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.
While Israel has not confirmed these reports, one day after the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the following statement: “Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry…Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”
Israel has every right to protect itself by attempting to diminish Tehran’s violent and militaristic grip in Syria. Iran has an imperialistic agenda, driven by aggressive geopolitical ambitions carried out through the use of terrorism, extremism, cruel human rights violations, and a desire to produce nuclear weapons.
As the Iranians continue to entrench themselves more deeply within Syria, they are clearly not there to protect innocent Syrian civilians from Assad’s deadly wrath.
On the contrary, the Iranians are seeking to bolster their hegemonic power, and they have Israel within their terrorist reach. For years, the Iranians have invested in Syria, sending massive manpower and material into the state to sustain Bashar al-Assad’s power and prolong his inhumane war against his own people.
Israel cannot afford to sit idly while the Iranians inch closer to its border, further develop their long-range missiles and amass an arsenal of deadly weapons.
The Iranian regime has announced its intentions toward the Jewish nation loudly and clearly over the years, declaring its desire to destroy the State of Israel. These threats of annihilation are taken very seriously by Israel’s political leadership, military forces and intelligence agencies.
Ultimately, Tehran envisions strengthening its military capacities and proxies surrounding Israel in an effort to completely paralyze Israel from a military response due to threats along each of its borders.
The Iranians are empowering and equipping their terrorist proxies on all fronts – including Hezbollah and in Syria – with the goal of helping to prevent Israel from attacking Iran’s nuclear infrastructures in Iran out of fear of retaliation from Hezbollah and Iran’s agents in Syria.
Unfortunately, Israel’s population centers, primarily concentrated along the Mediterranean shoreline, are highly vulnerable to Hezbollah’s growing vast arsenal of 120,000 rockets and missiles.
It's well known that Iran is bolstering Hezbollah’s capabilities to a previously unforeseen degree. It has been reported that nearly every advanced weapons system acquired by Syria from Russia has been shared with Hezbollah. These include anti-tank, anti-ship and anti-aircraft rockets.
Even more disturbing is that Iran is in the process of dramatically improving the accuracy of some of these weapons, particularly those with heavier and longer-range capabilities.
Security experts believe that this initiative is a game-changer that would exponentially increase the threat toward Israel.
Earlier this month, Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel would expand its military campaign against Iran. And according to other Israeli officials, Israel has launched more than 200 strikes against both Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria since early 2017.
Having just returned from a recent trip to Israel, I can assure you that while Israelis are a peace-seeking people, history has taught Israel to safeguard itself unconditionally from those who threaten its peaceful existence. Israel is watching.