BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate committee on Tuesday that if Israel continues their attacks against Iran in Syria that the Islamic Republic will eventually respond with force.
“We assess that Iran seeks to avoid a major armed conflict with Israel. However, Israeli strikes that result in Iranian casualties increase the likelihood of Iranian conventional retaliation against Israel,” Coats told the Senate committee.
In regards to Iran’s presence in Syria, Coats told the Senate committee that the Islamic Republic is seeking to build a permanent base inside the country.
“Iran continues to pursue permanent military bases and economic deals in Syria and probably wants to maintain a network of Shia foreign fighters there despite Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria,” Coats said.
During that same meeting, Coats also informed the Senate committee on the future of the Syrian conflict.
Coats told the audience that the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was likely going to win the war, adding that he would be avoiding direct conflict with Turkey and Israel in the process.