In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel’s long-standing position that it “prefers ISIS” over the Syrian government to a whole ‘nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war.
Quoted in the Hebrew-language NRG site, linked to Maariv, Maj. Gen. Halevy expressed concern about the recent offensives against ISIS territory, saying that in the last three months the Islamist group was facing the “most difficult” situation since its inception and declaration of a caliphate.
Israeli officials have regularly expressed comfort with the idea of ISIS conquering the whole of Syria, saying they find it preferable to the Iran-allied government surviving the war. At the same time, they were never so overtly supportive of ISIS and its survival.
Halevy went on to express concern that the defeat of ISIS might mean the “superpowers” leaving Syria, saying this would put Israel “in a hard position” after being so opposed to the survival of the Syrian government.
He then said Israel will do “all we can so as to not find ourselves in such a situation,” suggesting that the Israeli military is looking at direct support for ISIS as a matter of policy, and not just rhetoric.