Connect to share and comment
The Israeli Defense Forces is reportedly readjusting focus to Lebanon and its militant Hezbollah group amid fears that Iran and Hezbollah are gaining access to weapons in Syria.
According to Haaretz, the tactical shift comes as Israeli intelligence shows that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have lost about 13,000 men in the country's civil war, while another 40,000 soldiers have deserted.
Haaretz cites Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi as saying recently:
"They are trying and in some cases succeeding to obtain air defense capabilities, shore-to-sea missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and other capabilities. Hezbollah and Iran understand that Assad's fate is sealed, and they're preparing for the day after."
The paper cites as evidence that the Israeli Defense Forces recently changed the assignments of several northern divisions to focus on Lebanon, practicing maneuvers for operating in Lebanon where once they trained for Syria.
Meanwhile, Israel said it did fire into Syria on Sunday after shots were fired at Israeli soldiers from a machine gun position in the Golan Heights.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired a Tamuz anti-tank guided missile into Syrian territory after Syrian troops opened fire for the second time in twelve hours, according to YNet News.
A spokesperson for the prime minister's Office, Ofir Gendelman, tweeted:
IDF forces destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border. — Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) March 24, 2013
And Israel's new Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon released a statement saying that the Israeli Defense Forces would "immediately"respond to Syrian gunfire on the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying:
"Every violation of Israeli sovereignty and shooting from the Syrian side will immediately be answered by silencing the source of fire."