Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan has called on the U.N. Security Council to take immediate steps to end the Iranian presence in Syria.

The Islamic republic has been largely credited for keeping Syrian President Bashar Assad in power throughout the bloody, near-decade-long civil war that erupted in the country in 2011. Tehran has been sending Damascus funds and weapons, as well as troops. It has also ordered Hezbollah, its proxy in Lebanon, to rally to Assad’s aid.

Israel, Erdan wrote in an official letter to the United Nations on Wednesday, is profoundly concerned by the “recurring incidents in which improvised explosive devices are planted along the line between Israel and Syria with the intent to attack Israel and in direct violation of the Disengagement Agreement (1974).”

The Israeli ambassador went on to state that “these incidents, conducted by Iran’s proxies in Syria (IRGC Quds Force, Unit 840), prove once again that Syrian territory, including the Area of Separation (AOS), is being abused by hostile elements. The Syrian regime continues to allow Iran and its proxies to use its territory, including military facilities and infrastructure, to entrench its presence in Syria and undermine efforts to maintain stability in the region. This reflects the Syrian regime’s failure to fulfill its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.”

“These activities,” he wrote, “constitute a serious and blatant violation of the Disengagement Agreement; carry the potential for serious escalation in the region; and pose a risk not only to the local civilian population but also to the U.N. personnel on the ground. Israel expects a thorough investigation of these incidents by UNDOF and an appropriate report to Security Council members. Israel emphasizes the importance of a rapid return of UNDOF forces to all its positions and of it resuming the full scope of its activities prior to 2014.”

Erdan stressed that Israel considers the Syrian regime responsible for any “aggressive activity” originating from its territory and will continue to take “all lawful measures” to defend itself.

“Israel calls upon the Security Council to condemn these recurring dangerous acts and demands a total rollback of Iran and its proxies from Syria and the removal of Iranian military infrastructure from Syrian territory,” concluded the ambassador.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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