Israeli Military Intelligence Chief: We Call Syria ’50 Shades of Black’
IDF Major General Hertzi Halevi said on Tuesday that Israel must be “prepared” for new conflicts along its northern border with Syria and described the internal violence there as “50 shades of black.”
Speaking at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) annual National Gala in New York, Halevi stated that Syria is no longer the state that it once was.
“Syria has long ceased to be the state that we all knew four years ago. We call it ’50 Shades of Black,’ although I must admit I haven’t read the ‘grey’ version. One needs to take only a glimpse at their inner executions to understand why we must be prepared in the northern border,” said the head of IDF Military Intelligence.
More than 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives during the conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and those opposed to his rule. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that close to 3.8 million Syrians have registered as refugees who have fled to neighboring countries and North Africa. More than nine million people have been displaced from their homes in total as the country approaches its fifth year of civil war.
Halevi also said that the so-called Arab Spring has turned into a wider religious war that has redrawn the Middle East. “The maps of our area have been changing in front of our eyes. Borders drawn more than a century ago are being recklessly erased. The upheaval in the Middle East has turned into a religious struggle among armed factions,” said Halevi.
An IDF officer was lightly wounded on Tuesday when Israeli troops came under Syrian fire in the northern part of the Golan Heights. There has been repeated fire across the armistice line between Israel and Syria since the uprising began, including both intentional fire and stray fire from the internal fighting.
The FIDF gala dinner also featured the IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish, among others. Nationally syndicated media personality Dr. Monica Crowley served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and the event paid tribute to the contributions of IDF soldiers and their invaluable service to the Jewish State.
The funds raised at the gala – $24 million – will provide crucial aid to wounded IDF veterans, academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for underprivileged soldiers and lone soldiers from around the world. and will fund educational and recreational facilities.