TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday that the Syria-Iran military deal struck earlier in the week would not deter Israel from targeting Iranian troops and weapons in Syria.
“Whoever threatens us with our demise puts himself in similar danger, and anyway won’t achieve what they set out to do,” Netanyahu said.
“The IDF will continue to act with full determination and strength against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria,” Netanyahu said during an address at a ceremony in the southern city of Dimona.
“No threat will deter us,” he added.
“In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there’s a simple truth: There’s no place for the weak. The weak collapse, get butchered, are erased from history. And the strong, for better or worse, are the ones who survive,” he said.
“The strong are the ones who are respected, the strong are the ones with whom alliances are struck, and eventually the strong are the ones with whom you make peace,” the prime minister concluded.
On Monday, Iran and Syria signed a military agreement that would see Tehran assisting Damascus to rebuild itself after the conclusion of the civil war, with Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami pledging to rehabilitate the country’s depleted forces.
The “defense and technical agreement” provides for the continued “presence and participation” of Iran in Syria, Hatami said.
“With this accord, we have paved the way for a reconstruction of the Syrian military industries,” Hatami said in an interview Monday night with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen television channel.
“Based on what I know about the Iranian capability, I think that Netanyahu’s threats to attack are far from reality,” he added.
“The most important element of the deal is the rebuilding of the Syrian armed forces and defense industries so that they can regain their full capacity.”
Meanwhile, Russia, which along with Iran has supported the Assad regime, is said to be vying for a payout now that the Syrian war is entering its final stages.