IDF intelligence chief sees Iran downgrading its presence in Syria

Israel is “determined to keep Iran and Syria away from the Golan Heights,” IDF Intelligence Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman said.

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December 11, 2018 13:04
1 minute read.
Tamir Heiman (L) addresses the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, December 11th, 2018

Tamir Heiman (L) addresses the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, December 11th, 2018. (photo credit: KNESSET SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

 
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Iran is reducing its activities in Syria in response to its unpopularity at home, IDF Intelligence Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

Israel is “determined to keep Iran and Syria away from the Golan Heights,” Heiman said.

The price of Iran’s presence in Syria is very controversial in Tehran, and the IDF sees a trend leading to it being reduced significantly.

According to Heiman, the economic crisis in Iran has grown deeper since the US renewed sanctions, and oil exports have dropped.
“IDF intelligence is successfully monitoring attempts to circumvent the sanctions, and is acting with the relevant factors in the international community,” he said.

Operation Protective Shield is meant to neutralize tunnels crossing over from Lebanon into Israel, which are “a cornerstone” in Hezbollah’s strategy, Heiman said in the closed-door meeting.

As for the danger of the situation in the north escalating, he said “Hezbollah has had the statistical firepower for years, but they do not have the industrial ability to convert and manufacture accurate weaponry.

The chances for a war are low, Heiman posited, because it is not in the interest of Israel’s enemies at the moment.

However, the potential of information technology to “disrupt, design and create” could lead to an escalation. At the same time, these technological developments create opportunities on multiple fronts in between wars.

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