Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij arrived in Iran on Tuesday for a rare two-day visit, the first since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, and was reportedly told by his Iranian backers to attack Israel.
As the Syrian regime continues to suffer key losses that have sharpened in the last month, Iran continues to exert ever-growing influence in the country which it is financially and militarily propping up.
Al-Freij was told by senior Iranian sources that Syria and Iran’s terror proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, need to open a war front against Israel on the Golan Heights, according to the Hebrew-language Channel 10.
Iran told the Syrian defense minister to stir up conflict against Israel on the Golan, with the Islamic republic apparently unperturbed by the significant damage the move will cause to the Syrian regime, given that its goal is to expand its regional hegemony at all costs.
The Golan has been heating up with four terrorists eliminated on Sunday while placing an explosive on the Israeli border, and a day later stray mortar shells struck from Syria, as Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIS) fight on the Syrian side, right on Israel’s doorstep.
Iran spending $35B annually on Assad
In a press conference between al-Freij and his Iranian counterpart, the two said in a joint statement, “Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance will not allow enemies to achieve their goals in the region, and harm Syria and its firm position. Iran unreservedly supports Syria, and continues its strategic relations with it.”
Regarding its strategic interests, experts have revealed Iran is spending $35 billion a year propping up President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and is likewise deploying thousands of its troops in the country.
The reason for this is that Iran needs to maintain a route of access through Syria to the Mediterranean by which it can supply weapons to Hezbollah and strengthen its growing regional influence.
Iran’s call for Syria to attack Israel comes after three reports in Arab media since late last week claiming Israel conducted airstrikes on weapons depots and convoys in Syria heading for Hezbollah.
Israeli security sources appraised that the strikes were not conducted by Israel, but rather by Syrian rebel forces as part of the ongoing civil war that has already left over 220,000 dead.