Israel on Wednesday renewed its threat to attack Iranian military targets in Syria, after the two Muslim allies signed an accord on security cooperation.
“The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us,” he said at a ceremony naming Israel’s nuclear facilities after late president Shimon Peres.
Iran’s military attache to Damascus said Tuesday that his country’s military advisers would remain in Syria under the defence agreement signed the previous day.
“Support for Syria’s territorial integrity and the independence of Syrian sovereignty were also emphasised in the agreement,” Brigadier-General Abolghasem Alinejad said.
Tehran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to Assad as he has fought back against a seven-year uprising.
Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the conflict but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes in Syria to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weaponry to its Lebanese enemy Hezbollah.
It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.
“We are working to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony in southern Israel.
“We will not relent in pursuit of this goal just as we did not relent in bringing about the cancellation of the bad nuclear agreement with Iran”, the Israeli premier said.