Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Tuesday that Israel is preparing to absorb Alawite refugees once Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime collapses, which he expects to happen in the coming months.
Speaking at a Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs committee meeting, Gantz said Assad’s turmoil could cause him to seek a military confrontation with Israel.
“Assad cannot continue holding on to power and his downfall is expected to cause a crack in the radical axis,” Gantz said. “Assad and the Syrian regime may have a hard time acting against us in the short-term, but we also need to take into account that Syria has advanced weapons systems. They have advanced Russian arms such as Yakhont missiles.”
The IDF chief said that he was not sure whether the Golan Heights, which border with Syria, will remain quiet in the near future.