MI chief: Low probability of war in 2009

Yadlin says world waiting to see how new US administration deals with Iranian threat.

Amos Yadlin 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Amos Yadlin 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The probability of a war between Israel and its enemies over the next year is low, military intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin said Monday. Speaking Monday at Tel Aviv University, he said the world is waiting to see how the financial crisis plays out, and how the new US administration deals with the threat from Iran. He said Iran is Israel's main threat, calling it "the regime with radical ideology and radical weapons." Yadlin surmised that Syria might make peace with Israel, but only if Israel gives in to all Syria's demands, though even then, Syria would not cut ties with terror groups. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Yadlin said that Israel could deal with two entities, working toward peace with Fatah in the West Bank while confronting Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. Last month, Yadlin told the cabinet that if Israel's indirect talks with Syria were aimed at testing whether it might be possible to pull Damascus out of Iran and Hizbullah's orbits, then so far the test had failed. Despite the talks, not only has Damascus not lessened its cooperation with Hizbullah, it has actually stepped up its relationship with the organization. "[Syrian President Bashar] Assad currently trusts Hizbullah more than his own army," Yadlin said during a briefing. "Hizbullah operatives are working from within Syria. The Syrians are loosening all restraints, and [are irresponsibly giving] Hizbullah access to almost all of their strategic capabilities." Assad "is continuing to open up his warehouses to Hizbullah," Yadlin continued, adding that Syria was "turning into the arms granary" for Hizbullah. Herb Keinon contributed to this report.