Why would Israel launch airstrikes in Syria? Questions and answers

Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 3:28 p.m. MDT

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Associated Press
Iran is the senior partner in the axis since it supports the Assad regime and Hezbollah with weapons, though it's not clear how much tactical sway is being exerted by Tehran.

Advisers from Iran's Revolutionary Guard are believed to have longtime roles in Hezbollah's militia forces and Assad's army — serving as both point men for Tehran's aid and liaisons with the ruling clerics in Tehran. Yet Iran also keeps a distance from the actual battlefield.

Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, assistant to the Iranian chief-of-staff, told Iran's state-run Arabic-language Al-Alam TV on Sunday that Tehran "will not allow the enemy (Israel) to harm the security of the region" and that "the resistance will retaliate against the Israeli aggression against Syria."

Iran would have a major say in any decision to retaliate for the airstrikes but is not believed to have an appetite for a confrontation with Israel. While Iran is fighting for regional influence and has often used its anti-Israel stance to do so, it has never attacked the Jewish state.
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