GOC Southern Commander Tal Russo has announced that after 35 years of service, he has decided to retire from the IDF.
One of the most highly respected members of the General Staff, Russo headed the recent successful Operation Pillar of Defense counter terror offensive to silence Gaza rocket fire against southern Israel.
In addition, it was Russo who played an integral role in the planning and construction of the southern border fence project that has been responsible for preventing further infiltration by illegal migrants and terrorists.
It is believed that Russo made his decision based on the fact that he was passed by for an appointment to the position of deputy chief of staff.
Instead, GOC Northern Command Major-General Gadi Eizenkot won the post. GOC Army Headquarters Major-General Sami Turgeman has meanwhile been tapped to replace Russo in the south.
Brigadier-General Guy Tzur, currently the head of the IDF Plans and Policy Directorate, will be promoted to Major-General and will step into Turgeman’s place at GOC Army Headquarters.
It will be Turgeman’s task to prepare the IDF for the strong possibility of a third war with Lebanon’s Hizbullah terrorist organization, and the equal chance of a war with Gaza terrorists in the south – if not a war to be carried out on two fronts at the same time, as happened during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.