(Times of Israel) Russia’s proposal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons has driven the prospect of Bashar Assad’s ouster further away, to Israel’s detriment, the former head of the Mossad told The Times of Israel in an exclusive interview.

Shabtai Shavit, who served at the helm of Israel’s overseas intelligence service from 1989 to 1996, accused the administration of President Barack Obama of “floundering” over Syria, and noted witheringly that the US had “balked” at firing “half a dozen Tomahawk missiles” at the Assad regime in the wake of the August 21 alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad that the US says killed 1,429 Syrians.

Replacing the Assad regime was a clear Israeli interest, he said, as it would significantly weaken Hezbollah, leaving Israel to confront Iran without its regional proxy.

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