Netanyahu: Iran Transferred ‘Advanced Weaponry’ to Syria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

The Iranians have sent “advanced weaponry” to Syria “in order to attack [Israel] both on the battlefield and on the home front,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday, stating Israel wouldn’t back down against the threat.

“We are determined to block Iran’s aggression against us even if this means a struggle. Better now than later,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “Nations that were unprepared to take timely action to counter murderous aggression against them paid much heavier prices afterwards. We do not want escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario.”

The Iranian arms transferred to Syria listed by Netanyahu were “weaponized” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—like the one that invaded Israeli airspace earlier this year—as well as ground-to-ground missiles and anti-aircraft batteries that can target Israeli jets.

Israel has repeatedly warned against Iranian entrenchment in Syria and reportedly bombed military targets in Syria that have resulted in Iranian casualties. Without claiming credit for anything specific, Netanyahu hinted at Israeli action in Syria when looking ahead to a meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu said that meetings with Putin are “always important for the security of Israel” and address coordination between the Israeli and the Russian militaries. This is especially important when Israeli forces engage in Syria—where Russia is also active—to avoid accidental conflict between the countries’ armed forces.

“Israel maintains full freedom of action to defend itself,” said Netanyahu. “All of our meetings are important, but this week’s meeting is especially important in light of Iran’s increasing efforts to establish a military presence in Syria against Israel.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 6, 2018)

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