The IDF Spokesman in charge of the Arabic media department Maj. Avichai Adraee has been a frequent guest representing the Israeli position on Arabic media channels. This Tuesday, Edri held a rare and heated debate with a former Syrian military officer and Assad supporter Saleh Qirata.
The clash took place during Al Jazeera’s popular “The Other Side” program moderated by Faisal al-Qasem. The show was discussing the significance of the downing of the Israeli F-16 jet last week by Syrian anti-aircraft rockets over the Galilee and the relative aerial superiority Israel holds in the Middle East.
“What benefit is there to one downed Israeli jet when moments later, half of the Syrian anti-aircraft missile system was destroyed?” the host asked. “Is the Syrian pride in downing an Israeli plane after 30 years similar to the joy of a paraplegic who succeeds in moving his fingers for a few seconds?”
The former Syrian officer said: “The downing of an Israeli plane is not merely a passing event and it is a game changer.”
Maj. Adraee responded: “Qirata lives in Spain and therefore cannot hear the sound of Israeli aerial superiority before and after this incident. If he were to ask his friends and relatives in Damascus whether they hear (sense) the Israeli superiority they would respond in the affirmative. The Arabs and Syrians depend on mere words, and we on actions.”
The Israeli officer reminded the Al Jazeera host of the Facebook poll that indicated that his audience was more inclined to believe Israel over Syria.
According to Adraee, Israel would continue its operations in the face of threats. "The Iranians were invited into Syria not to fight ISIS or the Syrian opposition, as they falsely claim, but rather to clash with Israel. He who plays with fire will get burned."
Adraee also mentioned that in his recent speech, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah omitted mention of the military leader of the group Mustafa Badr al-Din, because he was killed by the Iranians, while he did mention other senior militants, such as al-Musawi and Imad Mughniyah, who were killed by Israel, according to reports.
The Syrian officer responded: “I am responsible for what I say. You are banking on ethnic tensions… You are an Arab Iraqi, do not forget your roots. I challenge the Israeli pilots to re-enter Syrian skies.”