January 16, 2020
The circumstances that followed the assassination of the commander of al-Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, should be used to launch a “deadly offensive campaign against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria,” said a prominent Israeli security official.
The official told a number of Israeli military correspondents Tuesday, that he wants the complete elimination of IRGC and its elements in the Syrian territories, which would weaken the entire Iranian campaign directed against the Israeli entity.
It was clear from the statements of the official that the Israeli security services estimate the assassination of Soleimani will change Iran’s influence in the Middle East and open a window of opportunity for Israel.
“We can, and we must, take advantage of these opportunities to put an end to the Iranian effort to establish a front against Israel in Syria and Iraq,” said the official.
Military analyst at the Yediot Aharonot, Ron Ben-Yishai, pointed out that this theory is based on estimates in Israel that the Iranian regime is struggling, knowing that the US economic sanctions reduced the gross national product over 9 percent.
Ben-Yishai added that the Iranian regime received three strikes: the assassination of Soleimani, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane, and the attempt to hide this accident.
The analyst warned against feeling “arrogant” and said Iran has not lost its capabilities to cause damage, undermine stability in the Middle East, and threaten the global energy market. However, the regime has become less confident of itself, appears confused, and is particularly afraid.
The Iranian response to the assassination by bombing two US bases in Iraq, which resulted in minimal losses, confirms the belief that the Iranians, especially the current regime, become cautious when force is exerted against them, according to the analyst.
Ben-Yishai noted that after the Iraqi-Iranian war, the Iranian nation lost a whole generation of young men, but history also shows that the people and their leadership are well aware when the balance of powers is not in their interest. It is then that they are deterred and begin reconsidering their options.
Iran will launch another wave of attacks aimed at pushing the US to withdraw from Iraq, he said citing information gathered by intelligence services.
He noted that Tehran considers the US presence in Iraq a direct threat to the regime, and prevents the direct activation and management of the Iranian axis in a way that serves the economic, strategic, military, and religious interests of the “ayatollah’s regime.”
Ben-Yishai quoted high-ranking Israeli security sources as saying that security services believe the assassination of Soleimani created a “vacuum” in the Iranian regime.
Israel estimates that assassinations deter organizations, referring to the aftermath of the assassination of the Islamic Jihad military leader in Gaza, Baha Abu al-Ata, when the movement, along with Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah, became very cautious, according to the military analyst on Walla website, Amir Bohbot.
Both Ben-Yishai and Bohbot quoted the Israeli security services estimating that Soleimani’s successor, Ismail Qaani, does not have the capabilities and characteristics of his predecessor.
Qaani is not familiar with the main players in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon, and had worked primarily on the secondary fronts where al-Quds Force is active, such as in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as logistical affairs.