Iran’s chief of staff who is visiting Syria said on Wednesday that Israel’s “aggression” on Syria “is not acceptable”.
Based on reports by Iranian and regional news agencies, Mohammad Hossein Bagheri in a press conference with his Syrian counterpart, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said, it is not acceptable that “the Zionist regime [as Iran calls Israel] can conduct aggression against Syria, any time it wants, in the air or on the ground”.
Bagheri arrived in Syria in the evening of Tuesday, October 17; one day after Israel said it had attacked an anti-aircraft missile battery in Syria, which had fired against an Israeli warplane over Lebanon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced after the attack that his country would take any necessary action for his country’s security.
Hours later Syria warned Israel about serious consequences of its actions.
The attack preceded the long-awaited visit of Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu to Israel and some analysts said that Israel’s action was meant as a message to Russia about Iran’s expanding presence in Syria.
Netanyahu and the Israeli defense minister told Shoygu that they will tolerate Iran’s military presence in Syria and each time they feels Israel’s “red lines” are crossed, action will be taken.
According to Iranian media, general Bagheri also voiced support for Syria saying, “Iran will stand side by side… to face dangers that might threaten Syria”
During the seven years of Syrian civil war, Iran has played a crucial role in saving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Hundreds of Iranian servicemen have been killed in the war.
Iranian media reported on October 17 that the commander of an Iranian Basij battalion, Abdollah Khosravi was killed in Syria on Saturday, October 14.
The commander of a special IRGC battalion from Tehran known as Yegane Fatehin, has also announced that 30 members of his unit have been killed in Syria.