Hours after it was announced that Defense Minister Ehud Barak has
approved IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz's decision to appoint Major-General Amir Eshel as the next IAF commander, colleagues congratulated the decision, saying he is the right man for the job.
"He'll put all the cards on the table – good or bad," said a senior officer that served with Eshel.
Referring to the possibility that Eshel would be the one overseeing an IAF military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, the officer said: "He'll know how to prepare the forces in the most meticulous and perfect manner, and lay out all the possible scenarios and chances of success."
'Will prepare forces in most meticulous manner' (Photo: Eliad Levy)
During his previous appointment as the head of the IDF Planning Directorate, Eshel did not publicly deal with the issue of Iran; however in a rare public statement
two weeks ago, the designated IAF chief said he is worried that a nuclear Iran would limit Israel's military freedom against Hamas
Eshel also commented on the situation in Syria,
saying that if Assad's regime was to collapse, "Mass aggregations of chemical and biological weapons will trickle into the hands of Hezbollah.
"In any battle scenario – whether erupting due to the collapse of the Syrian regime or due to an Israeli strike in Iran, IAF aircraft would have to deal with limited freedom of action in the Syrian and Lebanese skies," he added.
Eshel will replace outgoing Major General Ido Nehushtan, who beat him in the race for the elite position four years ago.