Amos Gilad 311.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC) by Hanay)
Israel may be concerned about the growing presence of al-Qaida elements in Syria
but that threat pales in comparison with the menace posed by the
Iran-Syrian-Hezbollah axis before the Syrian civil war, Amos Gilad said in an
interview that appeared Monday.
Gilad, the head of the Defense Ministry’s
diplomatic security bureau, said in an interview on the Walla website that
al-Qaida activists who are flowing into Syria are saying publicly that they are
“waiting for the opportunity to take over the state.”
He also said
al-Qaida was working inside Syria in a systematic manner, and through major
attacks, to build up the organization’s strength.
“But still, with all
due respect to that threat, it is not the same threat as one posed by Iran,
Syria and Hezbollah together, which is much more difficult,” he
While the crumbling of Syria harms the Iran-Syrian-Hezbollah axis,
and – at least in that regard – is a positive development, it is not as if a new
democracy is just waiting in the wings to fill the vacuum once Syrian President
Bashar Assad exits the scene.
“You can look now and see al-Qaida in
Syria, economic lows, instability, the lack of one address, huge refugee
problems,” he said, referring to a Syria after Assad. “This all presents new
types of challenges that are not similar to the military challenge [Syria posed
to Israel before the civil war].”
“In reality this is a blow to Iran and
Hezbollah together,” Gilad said of the situation in Syria.
“They admit it
and are doing everything so Assad survives.”