If US leaves the region, Israel will eventually go to war with Iran

"The United States is the main brakes in the region": former Deputy Head of the Northern Command Brig.-Gen.(res.) Ilan Lavi.

Iranians burn U.S and Israeli flags as they gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran January 4, 2020.  (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iranians burn U.S and Israeli flags as they gather to mourn General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran January 4, 2020.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Should the United States withdraw its forces and Iran continue on its path through Iraq and Syria, Israel will eventually find itself in a war along its entire northern border, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ilan Lavi has warned.
“The United States is the main brakes in the region and its withdrawal would lead to an escalation, since the Iranians will continue to apply gas” to their aspirations of regional hegemony, Lavi said during a conference held by the Alma Research and Education Center in Northern Israel.
On Monday evening, a letter sent from the head of the US military’s task force in Iraq to Abdul Amir, deputy director of Combined Joint Operations, sparked concern the US was removing its forces from Iraq after its parliament voted to oust American troops from the country following the assassination of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
While Washington later clarified that it was a “mistake” and no troops were being withdrawn, Lavi, who served as deputy head of the Northern Command, said that no one is able to predict what the American president might later decide to do. And if Trump does decide to withdraw, “I’m not optimistic,” he said. “Eventually, and I don’t mean tomorrow or next year, we will have to go to war. The Iranians will continue.”
Echoing Lavi, former commander of the IDF’s Strategic Planning Division Brig.-Gen.(res.) Ram Yavne said that “it’s hard to predict American policies.”
With the assassination of Soleimani, who was the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, and who Yavne said was “central to Iran’s domestic arena,” America currently has the upper hand.
“But if they withdraw, the killing of Soleimani won’t be good because there won’t be any deterrence – and the Iranians will see and understand that.”
According to Lavi, Soleimani was the architect behind the fact that when a war breaks out in Israel’s North, the IDF will be at war across the entire northern border rather than fighting on one front.
Under Soleimani’s command, Iran has been trying to establish a land bridge from Tehran to the Mediterranean, a major concern for Israel which, since 2013, has been carrying out a “war-between-wars” campaign aimed at preventing Tehran from reaching its goal.
According to data released by Alma, there are Iranian corridors to the Mediterranean, the shortest being 1,710 km., and taking 20 hours through Tehran, Baghdad, Ramadi, al-Tanf and Damascus.
Along with connecting the two fronts to one main arena, the thousands of pro-Iranian militias and proxies – like Lebanese Hezbollah and the mainly Afghani Fatemiyoun Brigades, who are not far from Israel’s borders – are a major threat.
“Soleimani changed the reality and created a force to challenge our capabilities,” Lavi said. “He knew how to take the strong points of Iranian capabilities and bring them here. He knew how to build a new conceptual way of fighting with what he had, like a strong fighting force that could inflict high damage against modern maneuvering forces.”
However, he continued, saying, “The IDF understands that, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi’s new five-year plan will contend with that.”
Soleimani’s replacement, his deputy Esmail Qaani, was appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei shortly after his death. He has vowed to continue his path “with the same force,” and will work to remove the American presence from the Middle East.
“God the Almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger. Certainly actions will be taken,” he vowed.
But, Yavne said, “Being a deputy for so many years is not good for your character.”
The Americans and Israelis need to continue their policies to “minimize Iran’s regional insurgency – and that’s feasible,” he said.
    


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