IDF General Staff will dedicate position for Iran strategy for first time

General Tal Kelman will fill the newly created position.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

For the first time in its history, the IDF is going to have an officer in the top echelon of the IDF whose responsibilities include focusing on one enemy country alone.

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi made four new appointments to the General Staff Tuesday, including one, Brigadier-General Tal Kelman, as head of a new directorate within the Staff: Strategy and Iran. His appointment comes with a promotion to the rank of general.

Kelman currently commands the Strategic Division of the IDF Planning Directorate, but he previously served as the chief of all air force training and ongoing operations. He was also the head of two air bases after his active service in the Second Lebanon War.

He publicly opined in a 2016 conference that Iran was a long-term, ongoing threat to the country.

Iran, he said, “provides much of the resources and weapons that are given to the organizations working against the State of Israel. In my opinion, this threat will be with us for the next decade at least.”

He also called the “instability” in the region caused by Iran and its proxies “a great danger,” which had to be countered by the maintenance of Israel’s military edge over its enemies.

Tomer Bar, the air force general who took Kelman’s training and operations’ post when he left, will now become the head of the new Force Building Directorate within the General Staff, replacing the old Planning Directorate. Bar commanded the squadron that destroyed the nuclear reactor being built in Syria in 2007.

To have the two new branches dealing with forward planning and strategy come from the Air Force wing of the IDF indicates how important its input has become in the eyes of those tasked with ensuring the safety of the Jewish state.

The other two appointments were Tamir Yadi to head of Central Command, and Ori Gordin to head of the Home Front command.