New Syria-Iranian defense treaty threat to Israel
Iranian defense minister Gen. Mustafa Najjar said: "Syria's security is part of Iran's security," when he signed a new military treaty with his visiting Syrian counterpart, Gen. Hassan Turkmani in Tehran last week.
Sunday, June 18, Israel's parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee inspected its northern border, along with the deputy chief of staff Moshe Kaplinsky and OC Northern command Udi Adam. Both Tehran and Damascus referred to the tour as Israel's response to their new treaty.
DEBKAfile's military sources add: At the signing ceremony, the Syrian official waved away reporters' questions on whether Iran would be establishing a military base in Syria – "The language of a foreign military base in our country is alien to us. I want to say that it is not on the agenda."
Nonetheless, military sources note that he rejected the term "bases" - but did not rule out "foreign forces" in Syrian bases, which Persian Gulf and Pakistani military sources are certain was agreed secretly between the two countries. They have learned that Iran has offered to deploy Revolutionary Guards on the Golan border with Israel by the end of summer, because as Najjar said at the signing: "We have a common front against Israel's threats."
DEBKAfile's Tehran sources disclose the Iranians seek to attain three objectives by deploying RG units to the Golan heights:
1. Another direct front line against Israel.
2. A forward position for an Iranian electronic warning station to sound a timely alarm of the takeoff of American warplanes or missiles from the eastern Mediterranean basin on their way to attack.
3. The station can also keep electronic track of movements on Israeli air and missile bases, covering also Arrow anti-missile missile systems.
The Syrian military delegation, which spent five days in Tehran, brought a year of secret negotiations to their conclusion. The breadth of Syrian-Iranian military relations can be measured by the military treaty's financial scope of $800 m and the size of the delegation Damascus sent to Tehran - 60 officers representing every branch of the Syrian armed forces, including intelligence and munitions industries.
For years, both countries have supported the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and anti-Israeli Palestinian factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which maintain headquarters in Damascus