Israeli officials have repeatedly stated their preference for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ouster, and the long-standing rivalry between the two nations (still technically at war and with a disputed border centered around Israel’s annexation of part of the Golan Heights) had many Israelis hoping that a regime change there would be to their benefit.
Officials all over the world have been expressing similar sentiments, hoping Assad will get replaced with someone who is pro- whatever they happen to be. The reality on the ground and the way the situation is going is something they aren’t quickly picking up, but Israeli Major General Aviv Kochavi seems to have finally noticed.
Kochavi, a top military intelligence official, noted today that the Syrian Civil War is “attracting thousands of radical jihadi activists from the area and the world,” and that their vision extends well beyond ousting Assad, and creating an Islamist state with eyes on regional expansion.
That’s bad news for every single neighbor Syria has, and Israel is no exception. The odd thing about nations like Israel and Britain coming to this realization is that the rebels haven’t exactly been secretive about their ambitions for creating a regional Islamic caliphate with a very al-Qaeda-friendly ideology. It’s just apparently taken that long for officials to figure out how bad that would be for them.
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