(Reported By PNW) Iran is on the verge of reaching a deal with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to build a military base at the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, an Israeli diplomatic official told the Hebrew news site Walla on Friday. According to the report, this would be Assad’s way of paying Iran back for the extensive military and financial support it has provided to the Assad regime since the outbreak of the ongoing war in Syria six years ago. The Jewish state, the report said, views the establishment of an Iranian military presence on the Mediterranean Sea as an “extreme step” that would “foster instability in the region and promote terrorism against Israel.”

Among other things, according to Walla, it would bolster Iran-backed Hezbollah and increase the threat to the Israeli home front. Latakia is located less than 200 miles up the coast from Israel’s northern port of Haifa. After his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “I made it clear that regarding Syria, while Israel is not opposed that there should be an agreement there, we strongly oppose the possibility that Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria under such an agreement. READ MORE