Iran’s Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri (IRNA)


Iran’s military chief of staff said on Wednesday during a visit to Damascus that Israeli attacks on Syria are “not acceptable.”

General Mohammad Bagheri, who was in Damascus to discuss further military cooperation with the Assad regime, said “It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria any time it wants,” a possible reference to an Israeli airstrike that destroyed a SAM-5 anti-aircraft battery near Damascus that had earlier fired on Israeli planes conducting reconnaissance over Lebanon, the Times of Israel reported.

Bagheri spoke of military cooperation with Syria “in order to fight our common enemies — whether they are the Zionists or the terrorists. We discussed ways to strengthen relations in the future and outlined the basic principles of this cooperation.”

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu arrived in Israel this week to speak with top Israeli officials including his counterpart Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu told Shoigu that Israel would not tolerate a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

Citing Arab news sources, the Post later reported that Shoigu had agreed to an Israeli request to not allow Iranian or Hezbollah forces to come closer than 10 to 15 kilometers (between 6 and 9 miles) of the Israeli border.

In a press briefing last month, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaacov Amidror, Israel’s former national security adviser explained that while Israel did not seek to get involved in Syria’s civil war, it had three “red lines” that it could not tolerate: Israel will not allow “game-changer weapons systems” to be transferred to Hezbollah; Israel will not let Iran or Hezbollah “build their launching pads” on the Syrian Golan Heights; and “that Israel would allow anyone who comes to the Israeli border wounded” to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

Israeli officials have acknowledged airstrikes in Syria against shipments of advanced weapons destined for Hezbollah.

By: The Tower