Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Reveals Israel’s ‘Campaign Between the Wars’ Against Iran to New York Times
Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot revealed in an interview with The New York Times over the weekend that Israel has not only been undertaking pinpoint strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, but following a general strategy of “the campaign between the wars” to thwart Iranian entrenchment, and Eizenkot believes Israel is winning.
“We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit,” Eizenkot told Times columnist Bret Stephens.
“We operated under a certain threshold until two-and-a-half years ago,” he explained. “And then we noticed a significant change in Iran’s strategy. Their vision was to have significant influence in Syria by building a force of up to 100,000 Shi’ite fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian air base. And they brought civilians in order to indoctrinate them.”
As a result of this, when Iran fired rockets across the border, Israel undertook a series of massive airstrikes against Iranian targets.
Eizenkot’s strategy is also the reason for Israel’s relatively limited approach to Hamas in Gaza. “When you fight for many years against a weak enemy,” he said, “it also weakens you.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Qasem Soleimani, who has been directing Iranian operations in Syria, has failed in his attempts to threaten Israel, Eizenkot asserted.
“His error was choosing a playground where he is relatively weak,” he said. “We have complete intelligence superiority in this area. We enjoy complete aerial superiority. We have strong deterrence and we have the justification to act. The force we faced over the last two years was a determined force, but not very impressive in its capabilities.”