The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has claimed that Israel is unable to continue its war against Tehran-backed Hamas in the long-term.
Speaking two months after the October 7 massacre of Israelis sparked the conflict with the militant group in Gaza, Hossein Salami said on Wednesday: "The Zionist regime will not be able to handle a long-term war.”
The IRGC commander claimed that the ongoing conflict which has claimed thousands of lives in Gaza “is primarily fueled by [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's personal motivations”.
Salami also said he believed that only a fraction of the resistance's capabilities against Israel has been activated so far in the conflict.
The comments come as Israel has renewed its commitment to "destroy the Iranian proxy in Gaza" and also deter other Iran-backed groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy told Iran International on Tuesday that the military offensive aims to combat the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre rather than escalate into a regional conflict.
The conflict erupted following Hamas’s invasion of Israel on October 7, when thousands of militia members took the lives of around 1,200 Israelis and other nationalities, and took hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Retaliatory attacks in Gaza have claimed over 15,000 lives, with hundreds of thousands displaced. Israel's efforts to uproot Hamas have faced the challenge of the Islamist group’s strategic use both of civilians as human shields and an extensive underground tunnel network spanning around 500 kilometers.
Salami also commented on the deployment of aircraft carriers to the region, in a veiled comment targeted at the United States, stating, "Aircraft carriers are being sent to the region, serving as symbols of the power of an empire navigating the world's waters, acting as tools for penetration and political control. However, when they reach Iran, they lose their political significance and are forced to be influenced."