Israeli officials, primarily Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, say that they believe Iran is substantially scaling back its activity within Syria. Lieberman credited repeated Israeli airstrikes on Syria for this.
Lieberman said Iran has abandoned the idea of building a seaport or airport in Syria, and had halted plans to build a missile factory. The extent of Iran’s plans for Syria were always hotly debated, with Israel long accusing Iran of myriad schemes for which little to no evidence exists.
The admission that Iran’s activity is slowing is surprising, as it would seemingly give Israel less of an excuse to carry outs its repeated attacks on Syria. The timing is particularly curious, as Lieberman has insisted they won’t honor any post-war Syrian deals, seemingly setting the stage for continuing those attacks, with or without a pretext.
Iran isn’t saying anything about its activity in Syria at the moment. This is unsurprising, as Iran’s presence has actually been quite limited, and the effective defeat of ISIS has meant the war is winding down. This means Iran has little reason for further advisory efforts.
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