The military bases discovered in Syria by satellites last month are not the only ones according to reports. The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) has found at least 10 military bases more, two near the border with Israel.
Although it is denied by Iranian authorities, Iran is strategically increasing its military power in Syria. Reports suggest that up to 20,000 fighters from various militias throughout the war-torn country have been trained by Iranian military personnel, giving Tehran its “true muscle” in Syria. And 6,000 of these fighters are Iran-trained combatants in the country are members of Hezbollah, with the rest coming from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.
Israeli intelligence suggests that those military bases are used to build Hezbollah’s arsenal of 100,000 missiles.
Analysts say that at present many of the bases are little more than barracks. Israeli intelligence assesses that the Revolutionary Guard wants to build an airbase, a military dock on Syria’s Mediterranean shore and sites to make missiles for the Syrian Army and Hezbollah.
“Two powerful strategic trends are fated to collide: the Iranian insistence on establishing a military presence in Syria, and the Israeli insistence on preventing it,” said Israeli intelligence. This friction increases the chances of conflict.
A salient event was the trespassing of Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone, which was later shot down. In addition, on 10 February, Israel struck a number of Iranian installations in Syria after the Iranian drone infiltrated into Israel. This was the first direct war-like contact between Israel and Iran after decades of enmity.
Netanyahu has expressed Israeli discontent with Iranian military actions and is determined to protect Israel, saying, “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”