IDF Chief of Staff Hints at Israel’s Involvement in Syria Strike
by Zach Pontz
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz commented Friday for the first time on reports that Israel struck a weapons convoy in Syria last month, saying, “when we see things that risk changing the balance of security, we try to act as is required.” Gantz was speaking during a visit with high school students.
Israel has remained silent vis-a-vis its alleged strike on a Syrian arms convoy along the Syria-Lebanon border in January, keeping to its official policy of not commenting on such reports. At the time Western officials were quick to confirm the strike and attribute it to Israel.
Israel has maintained that the transfer of Syria’s biological and chemical weapons into the hands of terror organizations such as Hezbollah would be a “red line.”
Last month Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak indirectly mentioned the issue at a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials in Germany, initially saying: “I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago.”
But, addressing the audience in English, he then added: “I keep telling frankly that we said – and that’s proof when we said something we mean it – we say that we don’t think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon.”