Former IDF spy chief: I would not want to be Soleimani following Syria operation

Amos Yadlin, Israel's then-chief of military intelligence, speaks at the annual Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv December 15, 2009. (File photo: Reuters)

Amos Yadlin, the former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence, said he would not want to be in the shoes of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani after “yet another operation failure versus Israel in Syria.”
 
Israel has been escalating its security campaign against Iranian presence in neighboring countries. Israeli airstrikes struck targets in Syria on Saturday and Iraq last month. Former Israeli military officials are sounding off on the developments.
 
Yadlin tweeted the Israeli strikes in Syria “signal as warning to the enemy to avoid further escalation.” He said he “would not want to be in [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps General] Qassem Soleimani’s shoes this morning after yet another operational failure versus Israel in Syria.”

Israeli airstrikes in Syria killed two fighters of the Lebanese Hezbollah and one Iranian combatant, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted the airstrike was taken to thwart an attack by the Iranian Quds Force and Shiite militias against Israel.
 
“Iran has no immunity anywhere,” tweeted Netanyahu. He added that Israel will continue to take action against Iran and its proxies for the sake of security.
 
The recent military actions are notable in that the Israeli government is confirming the strikes publicly, as well as expanding geographically in its campaign against Iran. The attack on a weapons depot near Baghdad last month was the first known Israeli airstrike in Iraq since 1981.
 
“We are operating in many areas against a state that wants to annihilate us,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Russian-language Israeli television Channel 9 on Thursday. “Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and instructed them to do anything necessary to thwart Iran’s plans.”
 
Netanyahu did not directly name Iraq as one of those areas.
 
Syrian state media reported the story, saying that anti-aircraft defenses fired at “enemy targets” over Damascus. However, Iran is denying its positions in Syria were hit by the Israeli strikes.
 
The relationship between Israel and Syria has been deadlocked since Israel conquered the Golan Heights in 1967. Israel still occupies the land, despite international calls to return it to Syria.
 
The IDF tweeted that it holds Iran and the Syrian regime directly responsible for the thwarted attack and will continue to prevent any attempts to harm Israel.


Additionally, Hezbollah reported two Israeli drones crashed over its Beirut stronghold on Sunday - one rigged with explosives, causing damage to the terrorist group’s media center. Hezbollah receives some $700 million USD a year from Iran, according to a US estimate cited by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The group supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also backed by Tehran.
 
Netanyahu has consistently threatened military action against Iran and its proxies, exemplified in his speech to US Congress in 2015 warning against the Iran nuclear deal. He advocated for increasing sanctions on Iran and dismantling Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
 
Under Netanyahu’s leadership, Israeli intelligence infiltrated Iran’s nuclear archive in Tehran in early 2018. Agents from Israeli Mossad secret service secured the contents of 32 safes that held the details of “Project Amad,” Iran’s nuclear project.
 
With less than one month until Israeli elections, Netanyahu is continuing to voice his willingness to take action against Iran and its presence in the region. The airstrikes show that the Israeli Prime Minister’s words were backed by action.

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