IDF Chief Kochavi Confirms Israel’s Strike Against Arms Convoy

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi essentially confirmed Israel’s involvement in an airstrike on November 8 near the Syrian border on a truck convoy from Iraq. Speaking at a memorial ceremony on Tuesday, Kochavi praised the IDF’s defense abilities in locating and targeting threats, saying, “We could’ve been unaware of the Syrian convoy moving from Iraq to Syria a few weeks ago. We could’ve been unaware of what it was carrying, and that out of 25 trucks in the convoy, number eight was carrying military equipment. We then need to send pilots able to evade surface-to-air missiles.”

“To be clear, sometimes, 30 to 40 missiles are launched at our aircraft, with the highest number fired in one operation being 70,” he added. “Forces need to attack, get a clean hit, and return home. They’re also required not to kill uninvolved people. These are very advanced capabilities,” he said.

The airstrike reportedly killed 14 Iranian soldiers, though Iran’s state media denied this. The convoy was believed to have been smuggling weapons into Syria from Iraq.

Kochavi’s comments are a break in Israeli policy for such incidents. Israel almost never claims involvement in military strikes against Iran and its proxies, though the IDF often spearheads such strikes against these terror groups to protect the Jewish state. His defense of the IDF comes a day after it claimed responsibility and shared regret for the death of a Palestinian teenager accidentally killed by gunfire aimed at Palestinian gunmen in her area. 

Kochavi likely wanted to clarify the incredibly tough task his soldiers have in defending innocent lives while trying to minimize casualties. The IDF is faced with much unfair criticism when, in reality, they defend Israel with great skill and care while valuing life. Aside from the accidental death of the teenager in Jenin on Monday, it does a great job of balancing its priorities of civilian safety and successful operations against terrorism without sacrificing either objective. The IDF needs prayer to continue to defend life in the midst of deadly situations as it aims to secure the Jewish state’s safety in the hostile Middle East.