Tel Aviv, Beirut- Israel uncovered on Friday that Iran has lately leased from the Assad regime an airport in central Syria, hinting it would target it.
Israeli military sources asserted that Tel Aviv would not allow Tehran to lease an airport in Syria, and would also confront current Syrian-Iranian negotiations to establish a land base capable of supporting Iranian-linked fighters.
According to the same sources, the land base would be able to back 5,000 Iranian militiamen believed to be mercenaries from Afghanistan and Pakistan under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned against any Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
“The establishment of an air and sea base and the attempt to permanently station 5,000 Shi’ite fighters on Syrian soil are not acceptable to us, and will have heavy consequences,” he said.
Separately, the 7th round of the Geneva intra-Syrian talks concluded on Friday without reaching any results at the political level, similar to its previous rounds held in the Kazakh capital of Astana to establish four de-escalation zones and to agree on the mission that would provide safety and security in those areas.
At the end of the Geneva 7 round of negotiations, the Syrian opposition delegation said: “The talks are not advancing in the direction that we want or desire. On the contrary, those talks were fruitless because the regime and its allies still refuse any political solution to the crisis.”
Meanwhile, Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN and its delegation chief, denied there was any agreement to hold direct talks with the opposition.
He said that during Friday’s negotiations, his delegation focused on the issue of fighting terrorism and the meetings of the legal and constitutional experts.