Israel Boosting Golan Heights Forces in Response to Rising ISIS Threats
by Dave Bender
The Israeli Army is boosting and regrouping its forces in the Golan Heights in light of ISIS terrorists overtaking more and more border areas, according to the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat and Lebanese media.
A senior Israeli officer said that the army has regrouped and reinforced its forces in the Golan Heights after three divisions of insurgents operating near the Israeli and Jordanian borders in the southern Golan recently declared their loyalty to ISIS, the pan-Arab newspaper said.
Militants with the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) were among those who recently switched allegiance to ISIS, according to Israel’s Ch. 2 News.
The senior officer said the IDF muscle-flexing was intended to deter ISIS from hostile moves towards Israel, and that any show of weakness in the face of the terrorist organization’s advances could cost the lives of Israeli civilians.
“Israel cannot stand by while red lines which endanger its security are being crossed,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated recently.
“This year, we find ourselves facing radical Islamic terrorism, which lurks in every Middle Eastern corner, seeking to destroy us only for who we are. The relentless terrorism is activated by cruel organizations which are not picky about their methods, and will do everything to try and sabotage our existence here in Israel.”
To that end, the Israeli army’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps “Vulture” battalion held week-long maneuvers in the Golan Heights in late Nov., over concerns that Syria’s internal carnage could involve Israel.
The army, anxiously following events on the other side of the hostile border, held the exercise in light of six months of sporadic cross-border gunfire, mortar shelling and two foiled infiltrations by hostile aircraft – one an armed bomber on a run against rebel forces close to Israeli territory.
In a telephone call between Ya’alon and outgoing US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel on Dec. 12th, the sides discussed “efforts by the United States and the coalition partners to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and they reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israel security relationship,” according to the Defense Department.
Meanwhile, Lebanon-based NOW Media recently reported that that country’s military forces are bracing for an ISIS onslaught via Mt. Qalamoun to attack units of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group which are aligned with the forces of Syria’s Assad.
“Al-Nusra Front and ISIS’s plan warns of a black winter and bad days ahead in Baalbek and Hermel,” sources told the outlet, referring to two threatened border areas.
Both terrorist groups have clashed repeatedly in recent months, in attempts to wrestle control of the strategic hilltop which overlooks Lebanese territory, as well as in several other areas along the border between the two countries.
On Dec. 6th, Jordanian monarch King Abdullah told CBS News that battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other terrorist groups is “our third world war.”