Incoming IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi advocated toppling the regime Syrian President Bashar Assad, but was rejected by Israel’s government, which preferred to deal with a known adversary, Saudi Arabia’s Elaph newspaper reported. Quoting an unnamed senior Israeli official, the Saudi daily said that Kochavi, then director of Military Intelligence, was in favor of removing Assad from power – even by assassination – over the regime’s support of Hezbollah. According to the report, Kochavi recommended removing the Assad regime because “it would bring calamities to Israel from Iran, Hezbollah, the militias and Russian influence in the region.” But the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, “wanted an address in Syria” – someone it could communicate with by back channels if need be. The “prolonged conflict in Syria saw Israel often hold negotiations with the regime in Damascus in order to reach an agreement in Syria,” the report quoted the official as saying, adding that the…

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