Sputnik: Please, share with us your thoughts on the recent incident in the Syrian city of Douma.
Oded Eran: We obviously watch very closely the events in Syria, although we are somewhat bystanders in this situation. Obviously there is a useless campaign by the Syrian regime to take control over the areas which it lost during the last seven years. The main concern from the Israeli point of view is that under the smoke of the seven years, Iran is trying to establish a presence far beyond that which it had before, and to establish a military presence which it didn't have, certainly before the events in Syria started in 2011. Israel made it very clear, I don't think that there were any doubts in Tehran or elsewhere, that it would do its utmost to prevent the establishment of a military presence by Iran in this area. Against that background you can explain the recent activities which were associated, certainly by official channels in Moscow, with Israel attempting to prevent the establishment of such a presence.
Sputnik: What is Israel's position regarding the ongoing escalation of tensions close to Israel's borders?
Oded Eran: We are not actors or players in this respect. We obviously monitor the activities of all those involved. I'm sure that Israel is in touch both with the Russians and the Americans through the channels that we have established between Israel and these two powers in connection of what happens in Syria. What, how and when the Americans are going to implement what was said by the president of the US in the last hours is somewhat, maybe, less clear, that it's coming soon.
Sputnik: And what does Israel think about the US plans concerning Syria, the recent comment by Donald Trump that there will be a forceful response?
Oded Eran: I think that basically we ought to look at two stages, two different volumes of activity. What the president said pertains only to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the case of the regime trying to wipe out the remains of the opposition. It's not totally tactical, but it's not also strategic. Obviously the reaction pertains the American reaction if it comes pertains to the use of chemical weapons. As to the long term I think that the President also made it clear. The US is on its way out, and this was clear at least to observers like me in Israel, the gradual decline of US interest in the long term configuration of the political map in Syria. So whatever the action taken by the US on the chemical staff, I think that this has very little to do with the long term plans of the US concerning Syria.
The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.