Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, on Friday met with elite Maglan troops that Israel says thwarted an attack on the Syrian border last week "ordered by Iran".
Four days ago quoting high-ranking sources Haaretz had reported that the military held an Iranian proxy militia responsible for the attempted attack on Syrian border, not Hezbollah. Kochavi's remarks seem to confirm the report.
The Maglan reconnaissance troops, IDF says, thwarted an attempt by a four-member cell to place explosive devices along the border fence with Syria and took them out "on the ground and in aircraft". IDF also says they have found weapons and a bag of explosive devices carried into Israeli territory 25 meters from the perimeter fence by the cell.
Maglan is a reconnaissance unit and part of the IDF 's Commando Brigade which specializes in operating behind enemy line and deep in enemy territory using advanced technologies and weaponry.
The Israeli army has said that it holds Syria responsible for "all events on Syrian soil". After the incident involving the terror cell Israel carried out several airstrikes against Syrian positions “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers,” Netanyahu said on August 4.
Syrian state media confirmed the retaliatory Israeli missile attacks which targeted locations in the southwest of the capital Damascus but said there had been minimal damages.
“You thwarted a terrorist attack ordered by Iran, which is in the process of establishing a radical axis in Syria,” Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi was quoted by Jerusalem Post as telling the soldiers in the meeting.
“A squad of terrorists wanted to cause us harm, but you prevented them from touching us. This is what is demanded of you. This is what is expected of you and this is what you did in a most professional way".
“The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for all activities that occur in its territory and will continue to act with determination against all violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” the military said in a statement according to The Times of Israel.
Iran has not reacted to the accusations.