In an interview with a Saudi newspaper, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman warns Iran will use proxy countries to attack Israel.
In a sign of Israel’s growing ties with the Arab world, the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces was interviewed by a Saudi Arabian newspaper and discussed the major threat faced by both Israel and the Arab countries: Iran.
Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman was interviewed in his Tel Aviv office by Elaph newspaper’s local correspondent Majdi Halaby, and told the Saudi paper that Israel is constantly monitoring Iran’s movements in the region and expects that the threat of attack will come from Iraq and Yemen, a ploy by Iran to avoid a direct counter-strike against itself.
“We have information that Iran is developing drones and smart missiles that can reach Israel,” Zilberman said.
Zilberman pointed out that Iran attacked the Saudi Aramco oil facilities in September 2019 from Yemen, Iraq and Iran using dozens of drones and remote-guided missiles, something that he said “indicates a great Iranian ability in this area.”
He stressed that those types of attacks may be repeated against Israel, so Israel has recently set its eyes on Iraq and Yemen.
Zilberman said that with the anniversary coming up of the U.S. assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran may use the occasion to take military retaliatory action against Israel or the U.S, noting that Iran sees Israel and the United States with the same eyes, and does not differentiate between them.
In response to a question about an Israeli submarine crossing the Suez Canal heading to the Red Sea and possibly the Arabian Gulf, the Israeli army spokesman said he does not confirm or deny the reports, but said that the Israeli navy is operating everywhere, leaving the sub’s destination open to speculation.
He added that the IDF operates with complete freedom everywhere in the Middle East and in countries with which Israel has no borders as well, hinting that operations are carried out in secret in several regions in the Middle East.
Zilberman told the paper he considered 2020 to be a year of security par excellence for Israel and said the low numbers of dead or wounded, the number of rockets fired from Gaza and the number of security incidents against Israeli targets were, according to him, very few and had a negligible effect on Israel’s overall security compared to previous years.
The spokesman attributed that success to Israel’s ability in the areas of security and Israeli deterrence, adding that Israel attacked sites in Syria on numerous occasions during the past year and received no attacks in response,
Zilberman said these circumstances confirmed that Israel is carrying out smart targeting that affects Iran and its arms in Syria as well as the Syrian host regime, without giving them the ability to respond.