Ramping up his war-mongering rhetoric, Israel’s defense chief has said Syria can become Iran’s ‘Vietnam’ and vowed to prevent Tehran from gaining a foothold there. It comes after Tel Aviv threatened Iran with a pre-emptive strike.
Israel, which is making incursions into Syria on almost a daily basis, pummeling the war-ravaged country with missiles under the pretext of targeting “Iranian positions” there, has warned Iran against establishing “a ring of fire” around Israel, vowing retaliation.
“It is no secret that Iran is trying to establish a ring of fire around our country, it is already based in Lebanon and is trying to establish in Syria, Gaza and more,” hawkish Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett claimed, speaking at a conference on Sunday.
Noting that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would “work tirelessly” to fend off the alleged “Iranian threat,” Bennett said that it’s high time Israel moves from defense to offense.
“We need to move from containment to attack”
Doubling down on his claim that Iran is seeking to establish a permanent presence in Syria, Bennett invoked the disastrous Vietnam War to back up his point.
“We say to Iran: Syria will become your Vietnam.”
Iran has repeatedly dismissed the allegations, pointing out that its military advisers embedded with the Syrian armed forces have been in the country legally, as they were invited and permitted to stay by Damascus, unlike the Israeli forces that violate international law with their bombing raids.
Bennett unleashed his dire warning days after Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz indicated that Tel Aviv would not shy away from a pre-emptive military strike against Iran if it thinks Tehran is making strides in the development of nuclear weapons.
“It’s an option. We will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If the only option left to us is the military option, we’ll act militarily,” Katz told Italian Corriere Della Sera daily on Friday.
While Israel, estimated to have an undeclared nuclear arsenal of between 80 and 90 warheads, is fomenting fears over Iran possibly obtaining nukes, it remains conspicuously tight-lipped about its own endeavors in the field. Following a test of a mysterious “rocket propulsion system” by Israel on Friday, Tehran accused the Jewish state of testing a “nuke-missile, aimed at Iran.” It is believed that the Israeli military may have launched little-known Jericho ballistic missiles, said to be capable of carrying a sizeable warhead.