Dec. 4, 2017
Iranian Bases in Syria: Imagine Iranian Jets 200 Km. from Israel – Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shachar Shohat (Ynet News)
If Iran is allowed to set up air bases in Syria, Israel’s entire strategic picture will change for the worse.
Today Iranian jets have to fly 2,000 km. to reach Israel, requiring mid-air refueling and prior intelligence.
Iranian air bases in Syria would mean planes stationed 200 km. from us, a proximity which would also allow the Iranians to have a better intelligence picture of Israel.
Presently, the Iranian enemy is located mostly to the east, and can, to a limited extent, attempt to attack from Israel’s north and south. But it cannot come from the West.
If Syria becomes home to Iranian bases, Iran could head west to the Mediterranean Sea, and then fly toward any Israeli coastal city – be it Haifa, Tel Aviv, or Ashkelon. The same holds true for Iranian drones.
This would require an entirely new line of defense – a front that does not exist today, and would represent significant danger to Israel. So it is vital to prevent Iran from moving into Syria.
The writer commanded the Israel Air-Defense Forces in 2012-15.