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    Stepped up Israeli Airstrikes Not Likely to Drive Iran From Syria – Report

    © REUTERS / Alaa Al-Faqir
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Any increase in Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria will most likely prompt Tehran to boost aid to allies such as Hezbollah while stopping short of provoking open warfare between the Islamic Republic and the Jewish State, the Soufan Center said in a new report on Tuesday.

    "Israeli strikes, even if increased in frequency or intensity, are unlikely to force Iran to withdraw from Syria, but are also unlikely to provoke a wider conflict," the report stated. "Iran’s political and military decision-makers, including leaders of the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have always stopped short of actions that would lead to hostilities with more capable conventional powers such as Israel or the United States."

    READ MORE: Iran Will Remain in Syria as Long as We're Asked to — Top Security Official

    The most likely scenario is for Iran to stick to a longtime regional strategy that depends on creating and/or backing allied proxy forces such as Hezbollah, which gives Tehran a measure of deniability and keeps Iranian territory free from major conventional combat, the report said.

    What is believed to be guided missiles are seen in the sky during what is reported to be an attack in Damascus, Syria, January 21, 2019, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media
    © REUTERS / Facebook Diary of a Mortar Shell in Damascus/Youmiyat Qadifat Hawun fi Damashq
    This comes after on Monday the Israeli Defense Forces disclosed a series of airstrikes that targeted Iranian-linked munitions depots, intelligence sites, a training camp and warehouses at Damascus International Airport.

    Since US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of about 2,000 US forces from Syria in December, Israel has shifted away from a long-standing policy of denying or downplaying military action in Syria.

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    Tags:
    airstrike, Syrian Civil War, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hezbollah, Iran, Israel, Syria
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