170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head

170,000 certainly ups the ante and brings credibility to Iran’s latest threat of slaughtering all of America’s military bases within its reach.

The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program.

“Cyber, in my humble opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me, will be revealed in a not very long time as a revolution greater than the creation of gunpowder or the usage of the aerial space at the start of the past century,” said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Kochavi, a former infantry officer, called the possibilities inherent in cyber warfare “nearly limitless, and that is not a metaphor.”

He listed four central challenges. The first, notably listed ahead of Iran’s nuclear program, are rockets, he said. Kochavi asserted that Israel faces 170,000 rockets and missiles, and that, “for the first time in many decades, the enemy has the ability to drop considerable amounts of munitions on the cities of Israel.” In the past the threat was countered by the IAF, he said; today it is Israel’s enemies’ primary weapon and it represents an enormous intelligence challenge to counter.

He said the 170,000 number had actually been higher, but that Syria’s stockpiles were being depleted in the civil war, and Hamas’s arsenal had been depleted during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. “The number will rise again,” Kochavi warned.

He revealed that the cyber threats facing Israel are growing “exponentially” and said that during the past year the state has faced hundreds of attacks and the intelligence community has faced dozens of attacks, “the vast majority of which were thankfully unsuccessful.”

And finally, he noted the “near 360 degree” presence of Jihadist elements along Israel’s borders. A slide depicting areas under the control of militant, Salafist elements covered what looked like half of Syria and had a presence in nearly every country in the region, including Turkey, he noted. Aside from creating friction along the border regions and melting the traditional state lines, he said that the rise of sub-state groups also mean that today “90 percent of Israel’s future battlefields are in urban areas.”

Full article: 170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head  Read more: 170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head (The Times of Israel)

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