The IDF’s intelligence chief revealed that to prevent Assad’s demise, Hezbollah are currently training a 50,000-strong militia to fight the rebels in Syria – with hopes to recruit 50,000 more. “Hezbollah is losing a cooperative partner in operations against Israel,” he said. Islamism on the rise
Maj. Gen. Kochavi explained how the phenomenon emerging from the social upheaval of the rapid spread of Islamist groups throughout the Middle East is changing the political map. “The most central movement to emerge from the social upheaval is the Muslim Brotherhood which has grown from an esoteric movement into an influential body which has spread throughout the Middle East,” the intelligence chief said. “It is in Egypt, a variation of it is in Turkey, it is in the Gaza Strip, it has close partners in Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, and it is becoming stronger in Jordan and Syria,” he said.
The Head of Military Intelligence went on to explain that the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood reflects a larger shift in the geopolitical makeup of the region. “In the past we divided the Middle East into radical and moderate axes – these axes no longer exist,” he said.
“Today, the Middle East is being redefined into Shiite and Sunni camps,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, “which explains things like why Hamas has distanced itself from Iran in recent months and is moving closer to Egypt and Turkey, or why Iran is arming the Shiite minority in Yemen.” He went on to explain that the shift from a nationalist to a religious approach has realigned alliances between the countries in the region and that the new approach increases the perspective of Israel as a foreign, unacceptable element in the Middle East.