(JNS.org) An Iranian-backed terror group operating in Syria this week announced its intention to “liberate” the strategic Golan Heights region from Israel.
In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sought assurances that Putin would prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Since 2015, Russia has worked closely with Iran in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the Syrian civil war.
“I made it clear to President Putin our resolute opposition to the consolidation of Iran and its proxies in Syria,” Netanyahu said. “We see Iran trying to build a military force, military infrastructure, with the intention to be based in Syria, including the attempt by Iran to build a seaport. All this has serious implications in terms of Israel’s security.”
Yet the Iraqi Shi’a terror group Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba—which receives training from Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces and is equipped with heavy artillery, including Russian-made T-90 tanks and Iranian rockets—followed Netanyahu’s comments with its rhetoric on ending Israel’s control of the Golan.
According to intelligence researcher Ronen Solomon, Iran deployed the Iraqi group to Syria to assist the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah—a more prominent Iranian-sponsored proxy—and the Syrian army. Solomon was quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth as saying that this activity “is coordinated with Russia, who has been providing the forces with aerial backup and assisting in transferring weapons of their production.”