Amid rising tensions between Israel and Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said Sunday that the army will continue to operate forcefully as needed against Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
During his visit to the Golan Heights, he met with IDF Northern Command chief Maj. Gen. Amir Baram and the head of the 210th Bashan Division Brig. Gen. Roman Gofman.
"Everything is going as usual at the moment, but we are aware of the possible developments in the region," Kochavi said in a statement released by the army.
"I came here to discuss the security situation focusing on Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and in order to thank all those who were involved in the precise and successful effort to expose the mines 10 days ago near the border and in the attack that was carried out afterward in Syria against Iranian and Syrian targets," he said referring the IDF uncovering several explosive devices near Israel's border with Syria and subsequent airstrikes that killed at least 19 pro-Iran militia fighters in eastern Syria.
"Our message is clear. We will continue to operate forcefully as needed against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and we will remain on high alert for any belligerence against us."
The IDF chief's comments came two days after Iran's chief nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was gunned down and killed outside of Tehran.
The Islamic Republic has vowed a "calculative and decisive response to the criminals who took Martyr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh from the Iranian nation," said Kamal Kharrazi, who is also head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations.
Earlier this month, Israeli forces uncovered three anti-personnel mines in the southern Golan that the military said were planted by Syrian operatives operating under the orders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ expeditionary Quds Force.
In response to the explosive devices, Israel's Air Force carried out a wave of strikes that hit Iranian and Syrian military facilities in Syria and killed several military personnel.