‘There are only two options’: Israel’s Netanyahu on US airstrikes in Syria
Israel’s prime minister said Friday that he is prepared to use military force in Syria if US President Donald Trump does not back off his threats to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu said that he had been advised that US action against Syria is likely to be “a game changer.”
Lieberman’s comments come days after Netanyahu warned in a speech to the Knesset that Israel is prepared “to take the first step and launch strikes if the US does not withdraw its threat of annihilation.”
Netanyahu has previously threatened to strike Syria in response to the Trump administration’s threats to attack Syria and the possibility of Syrian President Bashir Assad remaining in power.
He has repeatedly rejected US efforts to negotiate a peace agreement with the Syrian leader and accused Washington of trying to destabilize Syria through its military intervention in the country.
In a separate statement, Lieberman said that the US should stop using the pretext of Assad’s “aggression” to justify its military action in Syria.
The US has not commented on Lieberman’s remarks.
Israel has carried out several air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State group (ISIS) and other rebel groups in recent months.
US-led coalition airstrikes in the area have hit multiple targets including oil and gas facilities and warehouses, while targeting Syrian government forces.
The airstrikes have targeted oil refineries, a military camp, a storage facility for weapons and equipment and warehouses used for storage of weapons.
US officials have said that Israel has launched airstrikes against ISIS and other armed groups in Syria in recent weeks.
Israel, which has been targeted by US airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the West bank, has claimed it has destroyed about 30 targets in the past week.
Israel also has military aircraft in the region, but officials have not specified what type of aircraft have been used in its attacks.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Ministry declined to comment on Lieberman.