by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Israel has targeted Iranian-backed Shiite militias from Afghanistan and Pakistan, brought in to Syria to attack Israel and "convert" Syria's Sunni majority, PM Benjamin Netanyahu says, warning of "endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries."
Homeland Security Forum conference in Jerusalem, ThursdayPhoto: Reuters
Israel has attacked Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militias in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, casting such actions as potentially helping to stem a Syrian Sunni Muslim refugee exodus to Europe.
Israeli officials have previously disclosed scores of airstrikes in Syria to prevent suspected arms transfers to Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah fighters or to Iranian military deployments, who have been helping the Syrian regime beat back the seven-year-long rebellion.
But Israel has rarely provided official details on the operations, or described non-Lebanese militiamen as having been targeted.
Speaking at the International Homeland Security Forum in Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu accused Iran of bringing in 80,000 Shiite fighters from countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan to mount attacks against Israel and "convert" Syria's Sunni majority.
This is "a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war – I should say a theological war, a religious war – and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on," Netanyahu said.
"And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries. Obviously, we are not going to let them do it. We'll fight them.
"By preventing that – and we have bombed the bases of these Shiite militias – by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world."
Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.