'We will not allow establishment of an Iranian army in Syria'

Immigration Minister and former IDF southern command chief army speaks on preparations after Iranian missile attack on the Golan Heights.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant
Flash 90

Monday morning, after Israel’s retaliatory attack on Syria, 103FM's Ayala Hazan spoke with the Minister of Immigration and Absorption and member of the Political-Security Cabinet Yoav Galant, on the possibility of a major conflict in the Middle East.

“I think the picture has been made clear. After Iran launched a missile at the Golan Heights, the IDF made a retaliatory strike in the Damascus area. We have a policy that was decided upon by cabinet in the current government.

“We will not allow the establishment of an Iranian army in Syria. We will not allow the opening of a second for Hezbollah in Syria."

"We stand by these principles and I think that the IDF and the defense establishment are working well,” Galant said.

Ayala Hazan: What is the significance of Israel's recent decision to openly claim responsibility for a number of recent airstrikes in Syria, following years of a policy of ambiguity?

Galant: We need to understand that an entire campaign exists, that includes overt and covert actions and when we want to talk about it openly, you see it.

Four Syrian soldiers were killed. Is the message to Iran or Syria?

We're not at war with Syria, as far as we’re concerned and as long as they don't attack us. But we will not accept Tehran taking control of Syrian territory and opening another front, similar to what is happening in Lebanon. Fortunately, the United States stands with us and that is significant. No one in the world wants Iran in Syria, including European countries and the Sunni Arab countries.

Do you trust the new chief of staff?

Aviv Kochavi is best-suited officer for the job in a generation. He has gone through all the proper jobs and is well acquainted with the use of force in Gaza, Judea and Samaria and the north. The State of Israel has received a chief of staff that can be trusted.

You are a fan of this chief of staff. We see that [Benny] Gantz’s videos relate to his service as chief of staff.

The State of Israel received a demonstration during Operation Tzuk Eitan on how a good army can be led into a problematic situation. The operations in our region should be short, qualitative, and with few casualties. That operation [Tzuk Eitan/Operation Protective Edge] lasted 51 days and failed to achieve success as a result of problems in the military-security leadership.

The commander of the Iranian air force says they are ready for the decisive campaign that will lead to the destruction of Israel. Should Israelis be concerned?

I remember [Egyptian President Gamal Abdul] Nasser’s words in 1967. In my approach in which I have been practicing my whole life in the defense establishment, things are very simple: If someone intends to kill you, take them seriously. Build all your capabilities yourself, and if necessary, be ready to kill him. We learned that lesson this past century and have established a country to provide us with protection.