IDF Chief Says Israel Thwarted Iranian Plans for Syria Entrenchment

Israel's new Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot delivers a speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Prime Minister's Jerusalem offices on February 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

TEHRAN – Iran has failed to achieve what it sought to do in terms of military entrenchment in Syria thanks to “ongoing operations” by the Israeli army, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said Tuesday.

“The fact that Iran’s abilities are far from what it had aspired to, is a result of an intensive, ongoing operational activity,” Eisenkot said during a tour along the Syrian border.

“The IDF will continue to thwart these efforts [by Iran and Hezbollah], while preserving the security situation in the north in the long term, from a dedication to defending citizens of the State of Israel,” he stated.

Eisenkot lauded the IDF Northern Command’s efforts, both in preventing Iranian troops from entrenchment in southern Syria and thwarting the transfer of precision-guided missiles to its terror proxy, Hezbollah.

Nevertheless, Northern Command chief Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, who accompanied Eisenkot on the tour, warned earlier this week that Iran and Hezbollah are still doing everything in their power to secure a permanent foothold in southern Syria.

On the tour, Eisenkot and other IDF officials were updated on “recent developments in the fighting in Syria, Iranian entrenchment attempts and the activities of the Hezbollah organization in Syria,” the army said.

The IDF in recent months has conducted hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria.

Also on Tuesday, the Senior Appointments Advisory Committee confirmed the appointment of Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi to take over from Eisenkot.

Avigdor Liberman last month recommended Kochavi for the post before resigning his post as defense minister.


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