Israel: Syria Pulling Troops From Golan as War Escalates

Estimates 13,000 Defectors in Testimony to Israeli Parliament

Testifying before a Knesset committee, Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi says that Israel has detected significant moves of Syrian troops away from the border with occupied Golan Heights, apparently to participate in the escalating fighting.

He said the prospect of a war between Israel and Syria in the near future was “low,” though he did say it was possible for the part of Golan Israel isn’t occupying yet to become similar to Sinai, an area where militant factions hope to stage attacks into Israel.

Islamist groups have mobilized uniformly against the Assad regime, with al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urging militants the world over to flock to Syria to oust the regime.

Kochavi said that Assad’s days were “numbered,” echoing similar sentiments from other Israeli officials. As with the past officials he gave no specific details about when he thought the regime change would happen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.