Israel is already accusing Iran of ‘exploiting’ the ceasefire in southern Syria
The ceasefire in southern Syria negotiated by Russia and the US was a major buzz-kill for Tel Aviv.
According to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ceasefire is unacceptable because it “perpetuates Iran’s military presence in Syria”. Not quite.
A ceasefire is a temporary cessation of hostilities. That’s it. The extent of Iran’s presence in Syria once the fighting ends is a separate matter. And the idea that Israel thinks that Hezbollah should pack up and go home simply because there’s a truce in southern Syria doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Unfortunately it seems that Israel might actually just ignore the ceasefire entirely. One of Israel’s most respected national security experts has warned Iran that Israel will take active measures to prevent Tehran’s “growing presence” in Syria:
Retired IDF Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror — who served as the national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and currently is a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University — said that if the Iranians continued exploiting the recent Syrian ceasefire negotiated by Russia and the US to boost their presence in the country, “that might lead the IDF to intervene and to destroy every attempt to build infrastructure in Syria.”
“We will not let the Iranians and Hezbollah to be the forces which will win from the long and very brutal war in Syria and to move the focus into Israel,” Amidror declared on Monday, speaking on a conference call organized by The Israel Project.
“Israel should prevent it whatever will be the price,” Amidror said, adding that he could not “see who will stop it.”
And herein lies the problem: Israel has been allowed to bomb Syria with impunity since the start of the conflict. Tel Aviv is obviously wrong in assuming that international law doesn’t apply to Israel—but who’s going to stop them?
Oh, and what happens to the ceasefire when Israel starts making up excuses to pummel Hezbollah?