Islamic State, Iran biggest threats to world peace, Netanyahu says

Iran and the extremist militia Islamic State represent the biggest threat to world peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

"The greatest danger to the peace of the world comes from the two Islamic states, the Islamic State of ISIS and the Islamic State of Iran," Netanyahu told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The two are different sides of the same "militant Islamic coin," but should be dealt with separately, the Israeli leader said.

"Both of them want to first dominate the Middle East and from there well beyond," he said. "I think ISIS can be defeated."

Islamic State has taken control of large swathes of territory in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

On Syria, Netanyahu said he doubted Israel's north-eastern neighbour would ever return to being a united state.

"I'm not sure you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again," he said.

Israel had no interest in getting involved in the Syrian conflict, which started in 2011.

He confirmed that the Israeli air force was acting against weapon transfers over Syrian soil to armed groups at war with Israel, such as Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah.

"We will not allow Syrian territory to be used against Israel," he said.

Israel would intervene against any attempt to pass "game-changing weapons" to Hezbollah through Syria, Netanyahu said, pointing at Iran, which is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's strongest regional ally.

Israel is thought to have hit Syrian military installations in order to stop arms transfers to Hezbollah, also a key ally of al-Assad.

Israeli airstrikes have reportedly killed Hezbollah fighters and Iranian officers assisting Syrian government forces against al-Qaeda militants and rebels near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

While Israel rarely acknowledges individual strikes, Netanyahu has said in the past that his military is "active from time to time in Syria."

"If Iran tries through its proxies to set up a second war front along the Golan, we [will] take action to prevent that," he added.

Israel was also treating thousands of injured from the civil war in a military hospital on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, he noted.

"That's the extent of our intervention."

Last update: Wed, 22/06/2016 - 15:02

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