Ambassador Danon presents satellite photo of alleged Iranian base near Damascus, indicates Israel would take military action to prevent Tehran from getting nukes
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday presented an aerial photograph of an alleged Iranian base outside Damascus that he said Tehran was using to bring in and train tens of thousands of fighters for the militias it backs in Syria.
“There are over 80,000 extremists from all over the Middle East who are members of Shia militias in Syria under Iranian control,” Danny Danon told the UN Security Council.
The satellite image showed what appeared to be a military installation in the mountains northwest of Syria’s capital.
The base serves as “Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria,” Danon said. The ambassador did not provide evidence to support the claim.
“It is at this base, just over five miles from Damascus, where these dangerous extremists are trained and then assigned their missions of terror throughout Syria and the region,” he said.
Israel had never before claimed this site was an Iranian base.
In his speech to the Security Council, Danon also discussed the May 12 deadline by which US President Donald Trump must decide if the United States will remain part of the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Trump has demanded that significant changes be made to the agreement if the US is to continue to abide by it. Iran has opposed all changes, and indicated it will not be bound by the accord if the US is not.
“President Trump is focused on these important changes because he knows it will make the world safer. All the signatories of this agreement must now make a choice: Do you support these necessary changes? Or, will you choose to enable the Iranian regime that supports terror and is attempting to take over the Middle East?” Danon said.
The ambassador indicated that Israel was prepared to take military action if necessary in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Israel has a very clear policy and it has been so since the administration of prime minister Menahem Begin. We will not allow regimes that seek our destruction to acquire nuclear weapons. Period,” he said.
…Israel sees Iran, which has vowed to destroy the Jewish state, as its central enemy in the region. Israeli officials have repeatedly stated that Israel will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, marking it as a “red line” that it will fight militarily if necessary.
Full article: Israel at UN: Iran has more than 80,000 fighters in Syria (The Times of Israel)