Israel is preparing itself for a “limited confrontation” against Iran, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said.
“There is a possibility that we will face a limited confrontation with Iran and we are preparing for it,” Kochavi said.
He said Israel would continue to act and do so “responsibly” but said it would be better if Israel did not have to act alone.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pointed out that Israel is the only country that is openly, militarily fighting Iran.
The Israeli Air Force has been targeting Iranian bases and weapons supplies inside Syria for more than two years. Israel has said it would not allow Iran to equip its proxies with precision-guided missiles or to establish bases inside Syria from which to strike at Israel.
Kochavi also publicly implied for the first time that Israel is carrying out strikes inside Iraq, saying that Israel would not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria or Iraq.
“Iraq is undergoing a civil war, when the Quds Force is operating there on a daily basis, when the country itself has turned into an ungoverned area. Advanced weapons are being smuggled by the Quds force in Iraq on a monthly basis and we can’t allow that,” he said.
The Iranian-backed Hezbollah as well as the Iranian Quds forces are both established in Syria and Iran is a backer of Islamic Jihad and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Though he did not say when it would happen, Kochavi said that Israel is preparing for the next war, which he said would be “intense.”
“In the next war, e it with the north or with Gaza, the intensity of enemy firepower will be great…There can be no war without casualties and I cannot guarantee a short war,” he said. “We will need national resilience…I’m looking at everyone in the eye, it will be intense.”
Kochavi said Israel will need to be prepared for that “militarily, on the home front, and mentally.”