Former IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in 2009 said that Syrian President Bashar Assad is "smiling to the West while supporting Hezbollah and Hamas" and must be forced to pursue a breakthrough with the West or ally with Iran, according to a document released by Wikileaks on Wednesday.
According to a US diplomatic cable from a meeting between Ashkenazi and a US Congressional Delegation on November 15, 2009, Ashkenazi said Assad is "enjoying the best of both worlds." Not only is Syria shipping arms to Hezbollah from Iran, but the country is also directly supplying the Lebanese terror group from its depots.Ashkenazi had said that Syria is vulnerable to US pressure, "since it has a minority regime with a bad economy and its oil is running out." Syria's threat to Israel via Hezbollah and Hamas would be significantly minimized if it can be removed from the Iranian Axis, Ashkenazi said.
However, Ashkenazi had admitted in the meeting that Israel's northern border in the Golan is the quietest border "since the Syrians are very careful not to provoke Israel directly."