December 9, 2019
Israel’s defense minister warned Iran against its continued presence in Syria, saying Israel will “work tirelessly” to prevent the establishment of a stable Iranian military presence in the war-torn country.
“It is no secret that Iran is trying to establish a ring of fire around our country, it is already based in Lebanon and is trying to establish in Syria, Gaza and more,” Naftali Bennett said on Sunday at a conference held by Makor Rishon, an Israeli newspaper associated with the religious right. “We need to move from containment to attack.”
“We say to Iran: Syria will become your Vietnam,” Bennett added.
His comments come a day after Israel’s foreign minister, Yisrael Katz, was quoted saying the Israeli government was considering military action against Iran, should it pursue nuclear military capability.
Netanyahu and his administration have long been engaged in bellicose rhetoric against Tehran, and have taken numerous military steps in attempting to curb Iranian influence in the region – especially in Syria.
In November, the Israeli military hit dozens of targets in Syria, more than half of them Iranians, after rockets the IDF identified as coming from Iranian forces in Syria were fired at the Golan Heights. At least 23 were killed, with more than half estimated to be Iranian, or Iran-backed fighters.