… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: This was a major news story as the US Intel community, in a very careful way, spotlighted Israel as the aggressive threat in the Mideast. Statements made yesterday were sending a clear and public message not only to Israel, but to Iran and the entire Mideast powers, and NATO.
It put the stink on Israel in a major Senate hearing show, something I cannot remember happening on this scale, and at what is a critical time.
Why? It is because Israel is clearly seeing the destruction of Syria slipping out of its control, and Syria becoming strong enough to prevent Israel from taking all of the Golan Heights, which means air defense missiles will eventually be on the Syrian border protecting it from these continued IDF attacks.
What the Israelis saw happen yesterday is that there is some spunk left in the US defense command to not be manipulated in such a flagrant manner as Israel’s butt boy. It is going to be interesting how the Zionistas are going to respond to this, and whether the Iranians are paying attention and do not screw things up on by over playing their hand.
Now it the time to play one’s cards very carefully and conservatively, which it has so far. What proceeded this astounding Senate Intel hearing is Iran’s making it very clear to Israel that if the attacks on its people continued, or were escalated, it would respond, and if Israel wanted a war, it would be obliged to give them one.
I think the US command determined that this was not a bluff. Iran knows that if Israel over plays it hand, and no matter how much damage it inflicted on Iran, if Israel suffered great damage from retaliatory strike the world would change over night for the Likudite extremists in control of Israel.
The blame for the death and destruction in Israel would be laid squarely at their feet, and deservedly so. Would Bibi roll the dice on pushing a war with Iran to save his measly hide from his pending legal charges? VT readers know the answer to that… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … January 01, 2019 –
The top US intelligence official has warned Israel of the consequences of keeping up its military strikes on Syrian soil, saying the attacks could eventually trigger a response from Iran, which has its military advisors based in the Arab state.
Speaking at a hearing of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that Israel’s continued aerial assaults against Syria would increase the risk of Iran’s retaliation.
“We assess that Iran seeks to avoid a major armed conflict with Israel,” Coats said. “However, Israeli strikes that result in Iranian casualties increase the likelihood of Iranian conventional retaliation against Israel.”
Coats also raised concerns about “the long-term trajectory of Iranian influence in the region and the risk that conflict will escalate.”
He further claimed that Iran pursues “permanent military bases” in Syria and probably wants to maintain a network of “fighters” there despite the Israeli aerial assaults.
The American official was presenting the views of the US Intelligence Community to the congressional committee as part of the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment.
Tehran has been offering military advisory assistance to the Syrian army at the request of the Damascus government. Iran says it is not operating any military bases there.
The Israeli military has on multiple occasions launched air raids against targets inside Syria, some of which it claims belonged to Iranian forces.
Israel – which has been backing the terror groups operating against Damascus — views Iranian advisors in Syria as a threat and has openly pledged to target them until they leave the Arab country.
Earlier this month, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “ridiculous” threat of strikes against Iranian advisors.
Major General Ali Jafari vowed that the Islamic Republic will protect its military advisory mission against the regime’s acts of aggression.
Just days ago, Iran’s chief military commander raised the possibility of Iran adopting offensive military tactics to protect its interests:
In April 2018, an Israeli airstrike against the T-4 airbase in Syria’s Homs Province killed more than a dozen people, reportedly including seven Iranian military advisors.
In May of the same year, Israel conducted its most intensive airstrikes on Syria in decades. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Israel had used 28 warplanes in its Syria strikes and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and Moscow said that the Syrian army had managed to shoot down over half of the missiles.
The Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was in response to a barrage of 20 rockets that had been fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in the occupied Golan Heights, and it blamed the rocket attack on Iran.