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December 10, 2020 1:14 pm

Israel’s Campaign Against Iran in Syria Is Working, but ‘We Still Have a Long Way to Go,’ IDF Chief Says

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Air Force F-15 planes. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said Thursday that Israel’s campaign against Iranian entrenchment in Syria was working, “but we still have a long way to go.”

Iran has been attempting to establish a permanent military presence on Israel’s northern border via its support for Syria’s ruling Assad regime in its nine-year civil war with rebel groups.

Israel has repeatedly declared that it would not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, and has carried out numerous air strikes and other activities to prevent this.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan quoted Kochavi as saying on Thursday, “Iranian entrenchment in Syria is in a clear slowdown as a result of IDF operations, but we still have a long way to go.”

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He continued, “This year we attacked around 500 targets in all theaters [of operations], and in addition, we performed many operations in the secret dimension.”

Kochavi also pointed to the growing importance of cyber warfare, saying the IDF had conducted “many offensive operations” in that realm.

“The Middle East is the most disrupted, divided and violent region in the world,” the chief of staff summed up. “We operate intensively in six theaters, some on a daily basis and some on a weekly or monthly basis.”

Regarding Israel’s recent diplomatic progress in forging normalization deals with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and — it was announced on Thursday — Morocco, Kochavi commented, “Normalization moves in the Middle East have a positive impact on alliances and on aspects of security.”

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