Israel’s top general has sparked speculation by revealing that his state’s defence forces (the IDF) attacked a “third country”In a military operation against Palestinian militants, earlier in this month.
Speaking on Thursday, Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli Chief of General Staff, described the IDF’s ‘Breaking Dawn’ operation against the military group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
“Ten days ago, the IDF struck with great precision [PIJ commander] Taysir al-Jabari, who is an arch-terrorist, and at the same time carried out a wave of arrests in the West Bank and… attacked a third country, and defended the rest of [Israel’s] borders,”Local media reported that the military leader spoke at a public function.
Kochavi pointed out that the military’s ability to protect was a great way to do so. “a very complex task that we must not take for granted.”
Between August 5th and 8th, the latest escalation in violence between Israel’s PIJ saw the IDF bombard Gaza Strip with intense bombings, and fend off rockets from Palestinian militants as retaliation.
Kochavi acknowledged that it is not clear which country was attacked by the IDF. Over the years Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against Syria’s neighboring countries, alleging that it is protecting itself from Iranian proxy attacks. Israel has always used its military to surprise strike foreigners, and it did so repeatedly in the past.
1982 saw Israeli warplanes attack the Osirak nuclear plant near Baghdad. Ironically, Iran, Israel’s regional arch-rival, had launched a similar raid on the same location a year earlier, days after Iraq invaded Iran, triggering a decade-long war.
An even more recent instance is Israel’s 2009 air raids against Sudan. Although the IDF never claimed responsibility for these attacks, it was alleged that they targeted weapons traffickers and those heading to Gaza.
According to The Times of Israel, August’s strike could have occurred in Yemen. According to reports from Arabic-language media that claimed Iranian and Lebanese military advisors died in an explosion at a Camp controlled by Yemeni Houthi rebels on August 7, the Times of Israel cited these claims. A ballistic missile malfunction was the cause of the blast.
Yemen was the scene of a long-running civil conflict that culminated in Saudi Arabia’s intervention and other allies intervening militarily. Houthis, which are Riyadh’s main enemy in this conflict, were reported to have received substantial military aid from Tehran. Iran denies arming rebel forces. The country is still in compliance with a UN-negotiated truce that was renewed early in August.
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