While Israel’s Syrian frontier returned to relative calm, with both Jerusalem and Damascus signaling they were not seeking wider conflict, Israel’s IDF Commander of the country’s northern front, Major General Yoel Strick declared that Saturday’s escalation clearly indicates that the Islamic Republic of Iran wishes to create a front command in Syria, with the aim of hurting the Jewish state. He said, “Today, what we have known for a long time is clear to everyone. Iran wishes to create a front command in the territory of Syria whose aim is to hurt Israel. We will not let it happen. We will not jeopardize the citizens of Israel, we will not enable the de-stabilizing of the entire region,” the Israeli General asserted.
The comments by the Israeli military commander were made approximately at the same time when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed thousands of Iranians rallied to mark the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. President Rouhani used the opportunity to denounce both Israel and the United States as the oppressors of the Middle East. Rouhani asserted that attempts by Washington and Jerusalem to create division across the region were nullified by the peoples of Iraq, Lebanon and Iran, as well as the “support” of what the Iranian leader defined as “friendly countries.” Rouhani also took the opportunity to echo a declaration he made a day earlier – after the escalation with Israel in Syrian territory – that ‘Iran will continue to advance its cooperation with other countries across the Middle East in efforts to confront the Jewish state.’ He further declared that ‘to think that Israel’s bombardment of Syria could threaten the Islamic Republic is a clear mistake.’