Iran says seeking to "build a force of 100,000 troops" in Syria

Iran says seeking to

PanARMENIAN.Net - Late last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed the Jewish state's commitment to counter Iran in Syria despite Washington's recent announcement to withdraw US troops from the Arab country.

In the past four years, the Israeli army has mainly focused on preventing Iran's "entrenchment in Syria", according to outgoing Israel Defence Forces (IDF) chief Gadi Eisenkot. He is due to wrap up his four-year tenure next month.

Eisenkot claimed that Tehran's alleged plan on its permanent military presence in Syria had been endorsed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force.

"The Iranian vision for Syria for the day after [the war]… was to build a force of 100,000 ground troops. There are already 20,000 fighters from Hezbollah, Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and thousands of advisers from Iran", Eisenkot said, according to Sputnik.

He argued that Iran wants to create a "combined ground, aerial, naval and intelligence capability" in order to build up a "line of military positions along the Golan [border]".

He called the IDF's efforts to contain Iran's alleged military presence in Syria "the large base of the iceberg, which was hidden from the Israeli public’s eye".

"We devoted significant resources, intelligence, aerial resources, and other mostly covert operations that average Israelis, even those living in the Golan, were unaware of over the years", Eisenkot pointed out.

He touted the IDF's "independent" fight to destroy what he described as "arms factories in Syria" that he said "combine Syrian infrastructure, Iranian money, and Hezbollah capabilities".

Eisenkot's remarks come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed late last week that Washington's decision to withdraw the 2,000 US troops from Syria will not stop the Jewish state from continuing "to act against Iran's attempt to establish military bases in Syria".

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