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Israel loses patience with Iranian entrenchment in Syria

Israel has detected increased activity by Iran as it builds up its military presence in Syria.
Israeli soldiers of the Nahal Brigade take part in a drill near the settlement of Kidmat Tsvi in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, on Oct. 27, 2021.

Is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad starting to change his mind about the long dominance of Iran and Russia in his country? Several intelligence analysts have assessed recently that with Assad’s regime stabilized, the Iranian presence in his country might no be longer an asset but a liability for the Syrian leader. As long as the Iranians remain entrenched in his back yard, the attacks on them attributed to Israel are likely to continue — and have already escalated.

“If it were up to him, the Iranians would no longer be there,” a senior Israeli military source told Al-Monitor a few weeks ago on condition of anonymity. “Assad is now seeking calm and stability. He is making his way back into the fold of the Arab world and his leadership is enjoying renewed legitimacy. A war between Israel and Iran in his territory is the last thing he wants.”

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