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Friday, August 24, 2007

Changes to Israel's Air Defense Forces doctrine

The government keeps telling us that no war with Syria on the horizon; events seem to indicate otherwise.

The Jerusalem Post discloses this morning that the government has increased deployment of its Arrow missile interceptor so that it is much more widely deployed in the northern part of the country. The IDF says that the Arrow is capable of stopping anything Syria and Iran may throw at us.
"Our assumption is that the next war will be characterized by missile onslaughts, and lots of them," a high-ranking officer told the Post. "We can tell from the way our 'neighbors' are training that this is what they are planning and that we can expect a repeat of what happened during the Second Lebanon War."

Until now, the Arrow has been deployed in the Palmahim Air Force Base, as well as at an undisclosed site in northern Israel. The "thin deployment," as it was called, was implemented when the Arrow became fully operational in 2000 and when the doctrine was still based on the threat of Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles from the first Gulf War. [Palmahim is along the coast in the center of the country. CiJ]

Defense officials claim that the Arrow missile is capable of intercepting all of the operational ballistic missiles in Iran and Syria.

Following this past summer's war and the recognition that the next war will involve Syrian and Iranian missile barrages, the Air Defense Forces decided to adopt a "wide deployment" for its Arrow missile batteries.


To better prepare troops for potential barrages of missiles in a future conflict, head of the Air Defense Forces Brig.-Gen. Daniel Milo has brought in former officers who served on Patriot batteries during the First Gulf War to address young troops, sharing their experiences of intercepting missiles.

"We need to prepare them mentally for the barrages," explained the officer. "We need to train with the systems to make sure that they are operational and to prepare the soldiers for the possibility that they will be facing dozens of missiles heading toward Israel."
Meanwhile DEBKA reports on deployment of Syrian troops north of Mount Hermon.
The redeployment of commando units close to Israeli lines on the slopes of Mt Hermon has raised temperatures in Israel. Military sources comment that these Syrian units, especially trained for cross-border raids, are now in position to make a grab for Israeli territory or a surprise attack on the Israeli army position at the meeting point of the Israel, Syria and Lebanese borders.

To the south, Syrian units are reported by our sources as having moved a large fleet of bulldozers to the Golan. They are busy building another line of fortifications around their “pita” disposition (which forms a flat semicircle like pita) and digging new anti-tank trenches.

The IDF is likewise building fortifications on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, while also deepening and extending protective trenches. A series of ramps has been constructed for the use of tanks.

Some western observers say Israel’s war preparations are more extensive than those of the Syrian army. At the same time, both are taking the utmost care to avoid the slightest move that might be interpreted as crossing the red line between fortifying and posing to spring into action.

The Syrian army has cancelled its summer war game for the first time in 34 years. The IDF opted for the opposite course and stepped up its training exercises on the Golan.
The picture at the top is a group of Israeli tanks we saw last month when we were in the Golan Heights.

Note that 34 years ago was 1973 - the last time there was a war on the Golan Heights.


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