The IDF is prepared for a new reality in the Golan as Syria continues to descend into chaos, Brigadier-General (ret.) Kobi Marom told Arutz Sheva.
“The IDF has prepared for the new reality that will be in the Golan,” he said. “There are fears of an escalation, and serious concern that if there is violence [in the region] the target will not be Assad.”
“It’s a problematic reality, and the IDF has prepared accordingly,” he continued.
Civilians are prepared as well, he added. “The towns in the Golan Heights are preparing. There’s no panic, there’s no hysteria, but they understand that the current reality is likely to completely change.”
Currently, Marom said, “Assad’s situation is worse, but it is hard to estimate how long it will take” for his regime to fall. “In the meantime, Israelis continue to tour the area, but the routine could change.”
Regarding Israel’s recent decision to provide medical care to several wounded Syrians, Marom said there is no reason to fear that the move will open the doors to a potentially dangerous flood of refugees from Syria, which remains officially at war with Israel. “It was a one-time humanitarian gesture,” he said.
“In any case,” he added, “most of them prefer to go to refugee camps in Turkey and on the Jordanian border, not to Israel… They prefer to go to friendly states, not to us.”
Marom noted that the conflict in Syria has pushed many Druze residents of the Golan closer to Israel. Many have requested Israeli citizenship, he said.
“In the past they had a connection to Syria and they weren’t interested in [citizenship], but today many Druze are requesting Israeli citizenship because of the uncertainty and the desire to be connected to a stable Israeli government,” he explained.
“There are hundreds of students who used to travel to Damascus to study, and today they prefer to go to Tel Chai or Haifa,” he added.