Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz threatened to overthrow and kill Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he continues to allow Iran to operate out of Syria, the Israeli news outlet Ynet reports.
The Israeli government accuses Iran, one of Syria’s primary allies, of striving to turn Syria into a hostile staging area. However, Israel promises to prevent this, even if it requires use of military force.
“If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to allow the Iranians to operate out of Syria, Israel will eliminate him and overthrow his regime,” Steinitz told Ynet in an interview.
The energy minister urged everyone who is “interested in Assad’s survival” to convince him that it is necessary to oppose acts of aggression against Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he intends to discuss Iran’s presence in Syria during his visit to Russia scheduled for May 9.
“It is excellent that the prime minister is going. He has established unprecedented dialog with Putin. Russia is an important superpower, with whom we have many common interests,” Steinitz commented in this regard.