BBC Report: Iran Building Permanent Military Base in Syria

Iranian military commander and others attend during a ceremony to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the back from exile to Iran of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the 1979 Islamic revolution, at tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seen in background, in Tehran on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006. …
AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian

The Times of Israel reports: Iran is building a permanent military base in Syria just south of Damascus, the BBC reported Friday, citing a Western intelligence official. The British broadcaster commissioned a series of satellite pictures that indicate widespread construction at the site.

Israel has long warned that Iran is trying to establish a permanent presence in Syria as part of its efforts to control a land corridor from Iran through to the Mediterranean Sea as it attempts to expand its influence across the Middle East.

According to the BBC report, the base is situated at a site used by the Syrian army near El-Kiswah, 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus.

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