Friday, July 6, 2018

IDF Prepared To Defend Northern Border 'To The Last Milimeter'

IDF troops prepared to defend northern border 'to the last millimeter'

IDF troops are preparing for the battle in Syria to reach Quneitra, just three kilometers from Israel’s northern border, as fighting in the western part of the Dara’a province intensifies.

“IDF troops will protect Israel’s border until the last millimeter,” Captain Tsur Goldman of the 401st Armored Brigade told The Jerusalem Post at a military post on the Syrian border on Thursday, which to the uninformed seemed like any other sunny summer’s day.

“The quiet is relative and it’s deceiving,” Goldman said. “It’s quiet here now but we can hear gunfire and see projectiles being fired.”

The Syrian army, backed by Russian aerial bombardments, Iranian troops, Shi’ite militias and Hezbollah have been pummeling the southwestern province of Dara’a in an offensive aimed at recapturing the strategic areas bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights from rebels.
And Quneitra province is next.

Pointing to tents close to the demilitarized zone, Goldman explained that they were logistical tents built by rebel forces in the past two weeks in anticipation of the regime assault.

The IDF is preparing for the possibility that due to the offensive, the Syrian army along with the Shi’ite proxy forces will not respect the 1974 Separation Agreement, which was part of the overall armistice that ended the Yom Kippur War.

That could lead to a military conflict with Israel.

“I want to believe that the Syrian regime would not deploy their troops here against the 1974 agreement,” Goldman said, adding that “the tanks and infantry troops are prepared to deal with the Syrian regime or errant rocket fire,” which might fall in Israeli territory due to fighting.

Errant projectiles have occasionally landed in northern Israel throughout Syria’s seven- year civil war, leading the IDF to retaliate against Syrian army positions.

With reports of 70,000 Iranians, as well as fighters from the Hezbollah terrorist group and other Shi’ite militias playing a key role in the Syrian offensive – wearing Syrian military uniforms – Goldman stressed to the Post that while “I don’t know what the Iranians want to do here, the troops are ready for every scenario and will defend Israel up to the last millimeter.”

Israel believes that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds forces have continued to entrench themselves in Syria despite strikes against Iranian targets attributed to Israel.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told an Israeli Farsi-language radio station that while Israel does not want to go to war with Iran, “we will not tolerate the presence of the Quds forces on Syrian soil, or any attempt to establish Iranian military bases in Syria. We will act in the most determined and decisive manner.”

During the visit to Israel’s northern border Eisenkot also discussed the readiness of the Northern Command with its commander Maj.-Gen. Yoel Strick and the 366th Division’s commander Brig.-Gen. Amit Fisher.

“The IDF is monitoring the situation in Syria and is prepared for a variety of scenarios to preserve the security on Israel’s border,” read a statement given by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.

On Sunday, armored and artillery forces were deployed to reinforce troops on the Golan Heights near the border with Syria in light of a situational assessment by the Northern Command. 

“You don’t need to be a senior intelligence officer to understand that the situation has changed,” Goldman said.

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