US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats warned Israel against continuing its attacks on alleged Iranian targets in Syria.
“Iran may attack Israeli targets if Israel continues its air strikes against suspected Iranian targets in Syria,” U.S. intelligence director Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
Coats added that according to U.S. intelligence officials, Iran does not want a major armed conflict with Israel. “However, Israeli strikes that cause casualties may increase the likelihood of conventional Iranian retaliation against Israel,” he added.
The US National Intelligence Director claimed that Iran was trying to create permanent military bases in Syria and probably wanted to maintain “a network of foreign Shia fighters” there despite Israeli threats to carry out regular attacks against these bases.
Earlier, Israeli regime President Reuven Rivlin had claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran could “intensify its responses” to Israeli army air raids on Syria.
Regarding Israeli army attacks on Syria, Ehud Olmert criticized Netanyahu’s decision to violate Israel’s long-standing policy of ambiguity over its air strikes on Syria. He pointed out that even during his term of office, Israel had attacked Syria, but that the attack had only been revealed years later.
Olmert calls on Netanyahu not to provoke Iran
In this context, the former Israeli Prime Minister stated that Iran was not an existential threat and that Israel’s actions in Syria were correct. But he reminded Netanyahu of the importance of not mixing attacks with political and personal interests.
“We cannot provoke a country like Iran and think that they[the Iranians] will not respond. They will try to answer because they will understand that they cannot exercise restraint after this provocation. Iran’s positions in Syria should be attacked as long as these attacks can prevent them from settling there militarily. Talking about these attacks in a provocative and vulgar way is unnecessary and ineffective,” Olmert said.
In early January, the Israeli army carried out strikes against the Damascus International Airport area, claiming to target alleged Iranian military positions.
Despite the propaganda of the Israeli Government, the Islamic Republic of Iran claims that it has no base in Syria and that its military advisers are present in that country at the request of the Syrian Government in the context of the fight against terrorism. Tehran accuses Israel of provocation through actions that endanger the security of Syria and the entire region.