Former intel chief: If Iranians dead in Syria blast, payback looms

"Either the United States added to the attack it led about two weeks ago, and if it wasn't the United States, that leaves one possibility that I can't confirm."

April 30, 2018 09:54
2 minute read.
An Israeli air force F15 fighter jet.

An Israeli air force F15 fighter jet flies during an exhibition as part of a pilot graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air base, southern Israel June 25, 2009. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)


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It is reasonable to assume that the attack in Syria on Sunday night was carried out by an organized army, former IDF intelligence chief Major General Amos Yadlin said on Army Radio on Monday. According to Yadlin, the intensity of the reported explosion could not have come from the rebels in Syria, who are under attack by the Assad regime and are withdrawing from the attack zone.

Asked whether an organized army was behind the attack, Yadlin said that there were two possibilities: "Either the United States augmented the attack it led about two weeks ago, and if it wasn't the United States, that leaves one possibility that I can't confirm."

Referring to Iran's promises to respond to the alleged attack by Israel on a T-4 basis a few weeks ago, Yadlin expressed that the purpose of last night's attack should be investigated: "We have to investigate whether the attack came in response to weapon transfers to Hezbollah, to Iranian infrastructure being built in Syria or whether there was intelligence about Tehran's possible response and a decision was made to thwart it."
According to Yadlin, the Iranians are determined to establish themselves in Syria and the Israeli side is determined to prevent this. "It's no secret that the Iranians have unfinished business with us. In their view, we are responsible for the previous attack, and now before they were even able to respond - there was another attack," he explained.

Photos posted by Israeli media show the sites attacked in Syria on Sunday night, specifically a structure in the village of al-Malkiya near Aleppo.

Being asked about reports of a high number of fatalities, the former head military intelligence emphasized that the important question was whether the were Syrians or Iranians. "If the casualties were Syrians, they would simply be another addition to the half million people already killed in the civil war to this day. If they are Iranians, it will be added to the unfinished business they have with us, and then the month of May will be very volatile."

The military base attacked on Sunday night was near the city of Hama in the Homs district, where the 47th Brigade of the Assad army is located. The Assad regime pointed the finger at Israel and claimed that the Israeli air force was responsible for the attack. The 47th Brigade is composed of Iranian forces and Hezbollah forces.

Others sources talked about an exchange of fire between the Assad army and rebel forces in the Homs district, and the opposition forces claim that 38 Syrian army officers and soldiers were killed and 57 others injured in the fighting.

Translated by Juliane Helmhold.

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