IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday that if Bashar Assad remains in power he will be a weakened leader, and that this is not a good situation for Israel.
"If Assad falls, and I expect him to, this will be a crack in the radical axis," Gantz told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
"If he stays then he stays in a weakened state, and we remain in instability. There is a price for instability on our region, and we will meet more activity along the fence with Syria. No good will come out of it."
"Syria is busy with the upheaval it is undergoing," he added, "but its [military] abilities have not been impaired."
Gantz said that Iran is still aspiring to achieve a nuclear weapon but has yet to take the decision to cross the threshold, for its own strategic reasons.
The army's top soldier said that there is "too much babble" about Iran. "As to what we are preparing for and how – only very few people know what is out there, what is and is nbot possible. Many claim to know but few really know. The professional discussion should be held in the professional forum. There are people who used to know and now do not," he added, in a possible jab at former intelligence chiefs Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin.