Source: iJET International
Israel Claims Iran Has Recruited 80,000 Shi'a Fighters in Syria: The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, told the UN Security Council April 26 that Iran has recruited 80,000 Shi'a fighters in Syria to "commit acts of terror" in the country and throughout the region. Danon also alleged that these fighters have been receiving training at a military facility outside Damascus. Iranian officials have not commented on Danon's statements.
Analysis: The Israeli ambassador's assertions regarding Iran and its activities in Syria transpire amid rising geopolitical tensions between Tel Aviv and Tehran. Tel Aviv is highly concerned about Iran's regional ambitions and strategic objectives in Syria. Iran has committed billions of dollars in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Iran has actively recruited Arab, Afghan, and Pakistani Shi'a to fight against the Syrian regime's enemies and to establish a permanent base in Syria. This is a development that the Israeli leaders have already announced they would not tolerate. Despite this, neither Iran nor Israel is at a point where it will enter a direct conflict with the other.