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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IDF preparing for scenario where Syrian army backs border breachers

You might think that the Syrian army is too busy trying to retain Bashar al-Assad in power to bother with Israel right now. The IDF disagrees. After all, a confrontation with the Jooos would be a great distraction from Assad's troubles. And so the IDF is preparing for a scenario where Syrians try to breach their border with Israel (as happened in May) in September in connection with the UN vote on the 'state' of 'Palestine.' Except that this time the IDF is assuming they will be backed up by the Syrian army.
The IDF has been training forces for a scenario during which soldiers from the Syrian military will also approach the border and try to actively defend protesters attempting to infiltrate Israeli territory.

“We could face civilians who start a demonstration and are then joined by the military as part of the regime’s so-called desire to protect its civilians,” one IDF officer explained.

Due to this possibility, the IDF will likely deploy tanks along the border with troops to prevent a violation of Israeli sovereignty and confront the Syrian soldiers if necessary. The IDF has held a number of exercises recently including the use of tanks to enable soldiers to practice how they will respond in such a scenario.

“The number one goal will be to deescalate the situation and try to defuse tensions to prevent a larger conflict,” another defense official explained.

Part of the IDF’s strategy is to contact various international organizations and governments to work together to contain the demonstrations. The IDF is holding talks with UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria in an effort to get the two peacekeeping forces to deploy along their respective borders.

Last week, The Jerusalem Post reported the army was procuring new non-lethal weapons that will help disperse large demonstrations and marches that could break out in the West Bank and along the borders in the North. The Ground Forces Command has also instituted new rules of engagement for snipers who will be deployed to stop demonstrations and marches, including at what distance they are allowed to open fire.
What could go wrong?

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