Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi gives a security briefing to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, presenting evidence the Syrian President is operating "extremely brutally"
Head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, presented a security briefing to the Israeli Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today, Tuesday (July 17). He mainly addressed recent occurrences in Syria, and estimated that Syrian President, "Bashar al-Assad will not survive the uprising, even if it takes some more time."
Maj. Gen. Kochavi expressed his concern that the Golan Heights region might become a terror hotbed, similar to the Sinai Peninsula. "Recently over ten infrastructures of deadly terror attacks were dismantled. Egyptian officials consider Sinai a secondary priority, and terror infrastructures are currently being tracked," added Maj. Gen. Kochavi.
"A conflict is openly taking place in Egypt between the military and the Islamists, and it is clear we are in the midst of it. Since turmoil broke out in the region, Iran attempts to influence Egypt, though so far received a cold shoulder. As part of the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power in Egypt, the Hamas terror organization is becoming significantly more dominant at the expense of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Doors were opened for Hamas, while walls limit the PA," said Maj. Gen. Kochavi.
Addressing the Syrian front, Head of Military Intelligence added that 13 thousand soldiers and officers defected from the Syrian army, and that between 60 and 70 Syrian officers were targeted by the opposition. "We don’t see organized opposition forces leading an uprising. There are many groups that differ from them ideologically," said Maj. Gen. Kochavi. He explained that Assad, according to satellite images, is directing artillery highly populated regions. "The Syrian military operates extremely brutally, which displays their desperation and indicates they are unable to find more efficient solutions to pacify the uprisings," he added.
Maj. Gen. Kochavi mentioned that Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, and Iran are preparing for Assad's demise and the days following it. The IDF is concerned strategic weapons and firearms from Syria will end up in their hands. He estimated, "In Lebanon there are currently between 70 and 80 thousand rockets that might be used to target Israel. Smuggling of rockets from Iran to Lebanon continues." He also claimed that "the possibility of a conflict emerging between Israel and Syria, as a nation, is unlikely, even as Assad's last resort."
According to Maj. Gen. Kochavi, "Assad removed forces from the Golan Heights region to Damascus because he is not concerned conflict will emerge with Israel."