The IDF is preparing for a limited confrontation with the Islamic Republic as Israel continues to act against Iranian entrenchment, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi warned on Wednesday.“
There is a possibility that we will face a limited confrontation with Iran and we are preparing for it,” Kochavi said at a conference in honor of former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at the IDC Interdisciplinary Center in Herzilya.
“We will continue to act and responsibly,” Israel’s top military officer said, adding it would have been better had Israel not been the only one engaged in the effort to stop Iran.
The IDF, he said, is carrying out operations both publicly and below-the-radar to prevent the enemy from obtaining precision missiles, even if those operations bring about a confrontation.
“We will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria, or in Iraq,” Kochavi said, publicly acknowledging for the first time the Israel Air Force has attacked against Iranian targets in Iraq.
“Iraq is undergoing a civil war, when the Quds Force is operating there on a daily basis, when the country itself has turned into an ungoverned area. Advanced weapons are being smuggled by the Quds Force in Iraq on a monthly basis and we can’t allow that,” he said.
According to Kochavi, there’s been a change in threats, with all fronts active in trying to carry out terror or rocket attacks against Israel.
“It wasn’t always like that,” he said, pointing to years of relative quiet from Lebanon and Syria. But over the last few months there were many instances where there were warnings of immediate threats to Israel that the military had to contend with.
And while over the years, Iran was not regarded as an immediate threat, it’s transformed into “an enemy that we can see and that we deal with,” Kochavi said, adding Israel’s “ultimate goal is to instill in our enemies the feeling of despair and doubt in their ability to achieve their aggressive aims.”