Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, Israel has been hyping the threat of an Iranian attack in the region. On Monday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Aviv Kohavi continued the pattern and said Israel is prepared to “forcefully” respond to an Iranian attack.
“If Iran and its partners, members of the radical axis, whether in the first circle of states or the second, carry out actions against Israel, they will discover their partnership to be very costly,” Kohavi said.
“The radical axis” refers to groups in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza, all places Israel has bombed over the past year. Israel has ramped up its airstrikes in Syria this year against what it claims are Iranian-linked targets. While Iran has some involvement in Syria, its presence in the country is overblown by Israel as a way to justify the airstrikes.
Earlier this month, Kohavi said Israel has “struck over 500 targets this year, on all fronts,” most of which were likely in Syria. Kohavi’s comments on Monday make it clear that Israel would blame Iran for any attack on Israeli targets in the region, despite the continuous Israeli air war in Syria.
“The IDF will forcefully attack anyone who takes part, from near or far, in activities against the State of Israel or Israeli targets. I am saying this plainly and am describing the situation as it is — the response and all the plans have been prepared and practiced,” Kohavi said.
Fakhrizadeh was killed after a report said President Trump reviewed options to attack an Iranian nuclear site. Iran responded to the report by cautioning its allies not to provoke the US while Israel increased airstrikes in Syria and leaked stories to the press about how the IDF was preparing for war with Iran.