Tel Aviv has been long accusing Iran of using a network of proxies to plan its attacks against Israel. Namely, Israeli Air Force claimed to have struck such proxies, as well as actual Iranian military, in the course of landing airstrikes in Syria, despite Tehran denying having such in the country.
Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has stated in a conference at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya on 25 December that Tel Aviv has been fighting with Iran and its alleged proxies alone without allies. While he didn’t elaborate further, the statement likely aimed Israeli allies, specifically the US, that normally do not conduct military operations against Iran.
“It would be better if we weren’t the only ones responding to [these threats]”, Kohavi said.
The IDF chief of staff further reminded that Iran has changed its policies and has been more active recently and said that there have been “no response, no retaliation, no reprisals” from other countries. Specifically, Kohavi claimed that Iran has been recently strengthening its positions in Syria and Iraq and added that the IDF has been fighting it “openly, covertly and clandestinely”.
“We won’t allow Iran to establish a military presence in [Syria], or even in Iraq”, he said.
Kohavi also indicated another line of the Israeli military’s work – the prevention of enemies, Iran and Hezbollah, from obtaining precision guided missiles. He added that Tel Aviv is ready to go on “war” in order to achieve that.
The IDF chief clarified though that he doesn’t expect a war to erupt any time soon, but added that it case it does, it would be much more difficult for the Israeli state than previous ones.
“In terms of rockets, the number and the range and the size of the warheads and the accuracy have all grown […] Hezbollah isn’t just running around with Kalashnikov assault rifles and anti-tank missiles. It has anti-aircraft weapons and spectrum suppression equipment”, Kohavi said.
Alleged Strikes Against Iranian Forces in Syria
Tel Aviv has long been claiming that Tehran has been deploying its forces and proxies in Syria and conducted several strikes in the Arab Republic’s territory under this pre-text. Iran however denied sending anyone to Syria except few military advisers, harshly condemning Israeli strikes.
Israel and Iran are long-time rivals as Tehran repeatedly vowed to destroy Israeli state. Tel Aviv insists that Iran has been developing nuclear weapons in order to achieve its goal, but the Islamic Republic leaders denied it, stressing that it would go against Islam religion.