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Fmr. IDF Intelligence Chief: Shootdown of Iranian Drone Could be Prelude to Israel-Shia War

The interception of an Iranian drone that targeted Israel suggests that the chances for a war between Israel and Iran-led forces, the first Israel-Shia war, have increased, General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence told a conference call on Saturday.

The call was hosted by The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower.

Following the interception of the drone, The New York Times reported, Israeli jets attacked what was identified as the command and control center in Syria. One the way back from the mission, an F-16, which had come under Syrian anti-aircraft fire crashed in northern Israel. Two pilots escaped from the plane, though one has been reported to have been severely injured.

Israel reported that it hit eight targets in Syria including three anti-aircraft batteries and four Iranian positions, which were described as “part of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria.”

“There is a determination by Iran to build a military force in Syria and Lebanon, and there is determination by Israel not to let it happen. And the two vectors are colliding,” Yadlin said, explaining the escalation.

Despite expressing concerns that the conflict could escalate, Yadlin expressed that he believed that it was in Russia’s interests to push back against Iran to defuse the situation, saying “Conflict in the north between Israel, Iran and Hezbollah is not in their interests.”

At the end of the call when he was asked if the Iranian drone and the Israeli response meant that war was more imminent, Yadlin responded, “Unlike the last ten years when the chances for war in the north were close to zero, it is now much higher. But it’s not 100%.” Though he qualified his assessment, “Even 10% is much higher than close to zero.”

But if Israel was looking at the war in the north, Yadlin warned that it wouldn’t just be with one country, “Maybe instead of the first northern war, we should call it first Shia war, Israel-Shia war. Because it will be the Shia axis, led by Iran, with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime and Shia militia from all over the Middle East.”

“This is on the horizon,” he warned, unless there’s a de-escalation between Iran and Israel and “the superpowers will help to cool down the situation.”

The entire conference call is available at this link.

[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / YouTube ]