07:51 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Changing Tune? Israel Says It's Essentially Part of US Anti-Daesh Coalition

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    An Israeli general on Wednesday called Daesh "our enemy," and said Israel effectively is a member of the anti-Daesh coalition because of the intelligence it shares with nations fighting the terror group.

    Major General Nitzan Alon, who heads the Israeli military's operations branch, said that while Iran remains the greatest threat to Israel, Daesh is also a dangerous adversary.

    "From Israel's perspective, we definitely see Daesh as an enemy," Alon said.

    Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Iran poses a greater threat than Daesh, and that if Syria fell, Israel would prefer that Daesh be in control of the territory rather than an Iranian proxy.

    Israel has remained neutral in the Syrian conflict to its north, where US-led airstrikes are targeting Daesh, while rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fight the extremists on the ground.

    Even though Israel has not targeted Daesh, the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in December said "we haven't forgotten you" and "we are getting closer to you" every day.

    Alon said the anti-Daesh coalition was making gains, but he anticipates a conflict lasting many years to eradicate the terror group.

    "I don't think that Daesh will collapse in the coming months or year," he said. "It won't be easy. Not short and not easy."

    Tags:
    anti-Daesh coalition, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Daesh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Bashar Assad, Moshe Ya'alon, Nitzan Alon, Syria, Iran, Israel
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