Kochavi congratulates Maglan force on thwarting Iran-backed terror cell

Four-man squad was killed after placing explosives along the Syrian border fence last week

IDF Cheif of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi speaks with troops in the new “Ghost” multi-dimensional combat unit (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
IDF Cheif of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi speaks with troops in the new “Ghost” multi-dimensional combat unit
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi met with the troops that foiled the attack along the Syrian border last week, telling the Maglan force that it stopped a cell that had been sent by Iran.
“You thwarted a terrorist attack ordered by Iran, which is in the process of establishing a radical axis in Syria,” Kochavi said on Friday.
Congratulating the force on the “accurate execution” of their mission, the chief of staff said they did exactly what was expected of them in the field.
“The work you did has an impact,” he said.
“A squad of terrorists wanted to cause us harm, but you prevented them from touching us. This is what is demanded of you. This is what is expected of you and this is what you did in a most professional way.”
Last week, IDF troops from the elite Maglan reconnaissance unit foiled an attempt to place explosive devices along the border fence with Syria. The four-member cell was killed by IDF troops on the ground and in aircraft.
Later that day, the IDF said that during an investigation of the scene, some 25 meters from the perimeter fence inside Israeli territory, weapons and a bag containing a number of explosive devices were found.
The action taken against the cell placing the explosives on the border fence was later followed by Israeli airstrikes targeting Syrian regime positions.
“We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this. These are not vain words; they have the weight of the State of Israel and the IDF behind them and this should be taken seriously.”
Israel has warned repeatedly about Iran’s aspirations of regional hegemony and has admitted to hundreds of airstrikes as part of its “war-between-wars” campaign to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of its forces in Syria, where they could easily act against Israel.
Kochavi told the force that though they are not involved in the prevention of Iran’s nuclear project, they have played a role in preventing Tehran’s entrenchment in the north.
“What are our goals? Less related to you, Iran’s nuclear project. We’re busy with that. Number two, preventing the establishment of the radical axis in Syria – and it’s here where you have taken part in this mission,” he said, adding that the military is also working to prevent “our enemies in all sectors, with an emphasis on the northern arena,” from having precision rockets and missiles.
While the chief of staff told the force that he does not want to see troops end their service with war, the IDF will continue to work to prevent Israel’s enemies from acquiring dangerous weaponry.
“We are going to continue this process of striking our enemies and depriving them of these abilities 360 degrees, from the northern arena to Judea and Samaria, in the southern arena and in other various circles that we will not discuss here,” he said. “In each of these, we carry out a range of activities.”
With more active and explosive fronts on Israel’s borders, the military has pointed to Iran as the country’s main threat, accusing it of not only continued smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah but financing Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.