Hezbollah’s presence in Syria ‘big threat’ to Israel, US military head Dunford says


(JNS.org) U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Hezbollah’s potential of opening a second front against Israel in Syria is a “big threat” to the security of the Jewish state. 

U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford lays a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, May 9, during his official visit to Israel. Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

Dunford made the comments on the Lebanese terror group during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, in Tel Aviv, where the two discussed the range of threats to Israel’s security from Iran to Islamic State. 

“We spoke today broadly about the region,” Dunford said, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. “And clearly, the major concern is Iran’s influence in the region—their malign activities in the region, what’s happening with Iran in Iraq and Iran in Syria.”

In particular, Dunford said the most significant threat from Iran is its “threat network” that includes the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force as well as the support the Islamic Republic provides to Hezbollah.

“The big threat to Israel,” said Dunford, “would be Lebanese Hezbollah having a presence in southern Syria, which would give Israel two fronts to deal with.”

Dunford’s trip marked his third visit to Israel. He described visiting the Jewish state as an important “matter of routine.”

“There is always a lot of activity going on in the [U.S.-Israel] relationship,” he said, referring to the typical daily cooperation between the two allies ranging from top-level commander meetings to military exercises. 

In Israel, Dunford also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Posted on May 10, 2017 .