Anti-Israel terror will "flourish" in Syria on the heels of the civil war that will turn it into a "failed state," IDF Northern Command Chief Maj-Gen. Yair Golan said Wednesday at a conference at Bar Ilan University marking 30 years since the first Lebanon war.
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Golan said that "it wouldn't be an exaggeration to picture Syria becoming an additional front line for Hezbollah," and warned that "things that seem unlikely today could take place in a few months."
The Northern Command chief said that in "all failed states, terror flourishes. It apparently won't happen tomorrow morning, but it's a scenario we must prepare for. It's entirely possible that al-Qaeda elements currently operating in Syria against the regime (in Damascus) will eventually begin operating against us."
'Concerned about his future.' Ahmadinejad (L) and Assad (Photo: AP)
The general said he fears Syria's large and "highly sophisticated" arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, which includes surface-to-air missiles and chemical weapons.
Addressing Hezbollah, Golan said the Lebanese Shiite group is continuing to arm itself "at an unprecedented rate," but noted that most of the terror group's missiles are short range and would not be a "decisive factor" in any conflict with Israel.
"These missiles cannot destroy the State of Israel's infrastructure, but Hezbollah has thousands of larger missiles capable of reaching Gush Dan (central Israel) – and they are a cause for concern," he said.
However, Golan said, by dealing Hezbollah a "severe blow," Israel can "discourage the terror group from going to war with us again for a long time to come."
The senior IDF officer said Israel was "indirectly fighting Iran on a daily basis, regardless of whether the (war) is coming to us via Hamas or Hezbollah. Iran's negative influence is significant, and its involvement in Syria is also substantial. Iran's is very concerned about the future of its ally (Syrian President Bashar) Assad and it trying to assist him both directly and through Hezbollah."
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