Israel's Campaign Against Iran and Its Proxies

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin and Assaf Orion - The Iranian and Hizbullah precision-guided missile project is perceived by Israel as a grave threat to its security. After the prime minister presented pictures of the project sites at the UN General Assembly in September 2018, Hizbullah relocated them but continued trying to produce its own capability for launching broad strikes against sensitive sites in Israel. Efforts to improve precision were also apparently underway in Iraq. As thwarting the activity through diplomatic and other means fell short, Israel apparently decided to take offensive action, with the gravity of the threat justifying the increased risks of escalation. It is reasonable to assume that Israel does not perceive a high risk of war in the wake of the attacks because Hizbullah and Iran currently still prefer to avoid broad escalation. The timing of the strike in Syria apparently stemmed from the rate of progress in enemy operations. The strike in Beirut was apparently carried out within a limited window of opportunity, with the target being in a vulnerable temporary storage location prior to transfer to a protected site. It is possible that the close proximity in time and the similarity of tools (explosive drones) used in the strikes in Syria and Lebanon were mere coincidence. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF Military Intelligence, is director of the Institute for National Security Studies. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Assaf Orion served as head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate in the IDF General Staff (2010-2015) and is currently a fellow at the INSS.

2019-08-30 00:00:00

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