‘Israel Admits Bombing Syria 200 Times In 2 Years’

JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli official says the Tel Aviv regime has launched hundreds of strikes against various targets inside conflict-plagued Syria in the last two years.

“Only just now it was published — in the name of military sources, so I can quote it too — that in the last two years Israel has taken military action more than 200 times within Syria itself,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told a confer­ence hosted by the IDC Herzliya col­lege on Tuesday.

Katz claimed that most of the targets belonged to Iran, adding, “Understand the significance of this matter in terms of preserving the red line, preventing the things that Iran has done, is doing and is trying to do against Israel from Syria.”

Israel began carrying out mili­tary strikes in Syria in 2013.

Damascus and Tehran have repeatedly rejected Israeli claims that Iran has military bases in Syr­ia. Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus govern­ment, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami was in Damascus last week and signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation de­signed to ensure the continued presence and participation of Iran in Syria’s reconstruction.

In a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, General Ali Abdul­lah Ayyoub, in Damascus on Au­gust 26, Hatami warned of extra-regional countries’ plots to sow discord in Syria and vowed the Islamic Republic’s full support for the war-ravaged country in a bid to preserve its territorial in­tegrity and improve its stability.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in a meeting in Da­mascus on Monday that the Is­lamic Republic will continue to support Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.

The top Iranian and Syrian diplomats also discussed regional issues and the latest developments in Syria, including the return of dis­placed people to their homeland.

Muallem hailed Iran’s support for his country in the battle against terrorist groups and called on Teh­ran to continue its cooperation with Damascus in this regard.

Syria has been gripped by for­eign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfi­ri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.


‘Trump wanted Assad assassinated’

A new book has revealed that US President Donald Trump allegedly demand­ed the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a 2017 chemical attack that Wash­ington blamed on Damascus.

According to an excerpt from the book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, the US president told Defense Secretary James Mattis that he intended to assassinate the Syrian leader, after Washington accused the government in Damascus of a suspected chemical weapons at­tack against the militant-held vil­lage of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib last year.

“Let’s … kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the … lot of them,” Trump told Mattis on the phone.

Mattis reportedly told Trump he would get “right on it” in an apparent attempt to pacify the president, but hung up the phone and instead told a senior aide, “We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured,” Woodward wrote.

The US national security team then prepared a plan for a more conventional airstrike that Trump ultimately ordered.

The Washington Post jour­nalist also said the defense secre­tary had marveled at the time at Trump’s ignorance on foreign af­fairs and told close associates the US president had the intelligence of “a fifth- or sixth-grader.”

On April 4, 2017, a suspected sa­rin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib Province, killing more than 80 people.

The Western countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus, with the US launch­ing a missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in Syria’s Homs Province on April 7, 2017.

Trump tweeted a day later that the military attack against Syrian targets was a “Mission Accomplished!”

“A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result,” Trump wrote.

Washington claimed that the air field had been the origin of the chemical attack. Damascus, however, said the Khan Shayk­hun incident was a fabrication to justify the subsequent US missile strike.

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