Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that his country could never permit the Iranian military to have a permanent presence in Syria, and that surely “Tehran knows this.”

In comments to the Russian press regarding the meeting, Netanyahu said it was focused on, “above all, Iran’s attempts to establish military bases in Syria.”

Earlier, he said that the Jewish state “will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces.”

As the Syrian civil war is winding down, Iran and Iranian proxies like Hezbollah have been working to establish a permanent presence in the war-torn country, both as a strategic move against Israel and to influence the direction of the Syrian government.

Analyst comment: As we have stated in recent Strategic Intelligence Summaries, the most likely next war in the Middle East will involve Israeli and Iranian forces, the latter either directly or via proxies. This confirms our earlier analysis. Stay current on this and other potential conflicts by subscribing today.