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Former Israel Security Chief Calls for Military Action in Syria

One day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his opposition to the Russia-US brokered ceasefire in parts of Syria, the nation’s former National Security Council chief called for Israel to examine military options that would keep Iran and Hezbollah from setting up permanent bases in the country.

"We will not let the Iranians and Hezbollah be the forces that will win the very brutal war in Syria" Yaakov Amidror said Monday, lest they then shift their attention to Israel from camps within the war-torn country just over Israel’s border. 

Israeli troops patrol the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights on January 18, 2015. An Israeli helicopter carried out a strike today against terrorists in the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights who were allegedly preparing an attack on Israel, an Israeli security source said. - Sputnik International
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The Israeli Defense Forces then might have to "intervene and destroy every attempt to build [permanent Iranian] infrastructure in Syria," he warned, the Jerusalem Post reports.

"At the end of the day it is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the Americans, or the Russians, to guarantee ourselves," Amidror said. "We will take all measures that are needed for that." 

Amidror stressed that diplomacy shouldn’t be ruled out, but his comments signal the hawkish stance forming in influential Israeli circles. The former security head and fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies still speaks with Netanyahu, the Jerusalem Post noted.

"Israel has always viewed Iran and Hezbollah as the main threat on the northern border – not the salafist terrorists. So, whenever Israel has intervened militarily it has been to fight against this enemy," Max Abrahms of the Council on Foreign Relations told Sputnik on Monday. "Conversely, Israel has taken into their hospitals fighters from the opposition and works with them in a variety of other ways as well, including with some intelligence-sharing."

Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron (left) meeting at the Grand Trianon of the Versailles Palace in Paris, May 29, 2017 - Sputnik International
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"What’s interesting is that the US and Israel don’t share identical threat perceptions on these issues because most Americans regard radical Sunni groups (viz. ISIS and Al Qaeda) as a bigger threat than the Iranian-Hezbollah threat," added Abrahms, who is also a professor at Northeastern University.

Syrian politician Tarek Ahmad told Sputnik on Monday that rhetoric of protecting Israel from Iran could be a front for Israel’s support of the Nusra front and other extremist factions. "The Israelis are not just securing their borders in southern Syria, they are also working with Nusra and affiliated terror groups."

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