February 13, 2018

US sends "strong signal" that Israel has right to strike inside Syria as Iran's role grows

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Kuwait News Agency

Journalist Ronald Baygents

The Trump administration is sending "a clear and strong signal that in its view Israel has every right to unilaterally and pre-emptively confront any national security threats to it that are coming from Syria," Nicholas Heras, Middle East security fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank, told KUNA on Tuesday.

Heras was responding to questions about the US stance in the wake of the downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian antiaircraft fire, which led to Israel carrying out extensive airstrikes inside Syria on Saturday.
Analysts interviewed by KUNA, as well as recent remarks by US Defense Secretary James Mattis, emphasized the hand of Iran in the latest military developments in Syria.

"Israel's willingness to use military power, carefully walking up an escalation ladder depending on the threat from Iranian and Hezbollah forces that are actively operating in Syria, is not contradictory to the Trump team's Syria strategy," Heras said.

The government of Israel and the Trump administration "are greatly concerned with Iran's effort to turn the Assad-controlled areas of western Syria into one large armed camp for Hezbollah and other Iranian-mobilized Shia militias to carry a war into the territory of Israel itself," he said.

Read the full article in The Kuwait News Agency.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...