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July 31, 2016 9:04 pm

Israel Gearing Up for Worst-Case ‘Day After’ Scenarios Against ISIS, Hezbollah if Russia-Brokered Syria Deal Materializes

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The Golani Brigade holding a drill in the Golan Heights. Photo: IDF.

The Golani Brigade holding a drill in the Golan Heights. Photo: IDF.

Israel is gearing up for the “day after” an agreement is reached in Syria between the Assad regime and rebel forces, by preparing for worst-case scenarios, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday.

According to the report, attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to broker such a deal are on the verge of bearing fruit, something that Israel is planning for both politically and militarily. Where the latter is concerned, the IDF is taking into account that after the two warring sides in Syria achieve understandings, jihadists will turn their attention to and aim their fire at the Israeli border. This possibility was behind a series of drills conducted by the IDF’s Golani Brigade along the Syrian and Lebanese borders last week, to train for combat against ISIS terrorists.

Though, as Walla reported, the IDF defines the Syrian border as “stable” – despite a number of incidents of stray fire and mortar-landings over the past few weeks – the Northern Command is bracing itself for a new reality. Northern Command chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi thus ordered drills to prepare for potential cross-border attacks and infiltrations. In such events, he said, the IDF would retaliate with force.

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The IDF was satisfied with the ability of the troops participating in the drill to meet the challenge. One aspect of the exercise was based on the assessment that most of the civilians on the other side of the borders are not terrorists, with only a small number of jihadis operating in their midst. An entire battalion was deployed in the exercise to pose as Syrian civilians, whom the soldiers in the field were to keep isolated from fire on either side.

One way this was done was through announcements shouted by Arabic-speaking officers into megaphones, to warn Syrian civilians of imminent IDF attacks against rebels. This was one move aimed at fostering a good relationship with the villagers living near the border fence — many of whom are already predisposed to Israel, after being treated in Israeli hospitals for wounds sustained in the crossfire of the war.

Meanwhile, assessments in the IDF are that an inter-Syrian agreement will lead not only to fighting against rebel jihadis, but with Iran’s proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah, which supports the Assad regime. In such an event, the IDF believes, the need to maneuver deeper in Lebanon will be significantly greater than it was during Israel’s war against Hezbollah 10 years ago.

As The Algemeiner reported on Thursday, two major joint exercises, conducted by the US Marine Corps and the IDF, were undertaken recently. One called CAYA Green (for “come as you are when you get the green light”) simulated a raid on enemy shores. The other, Noble Shirley 2016, held in southern Israel, practiced counter-terrorism techniques against ISIS.

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said they had agreed on “concrete steps” to achieve a truce in Syria – following the complete breakdown of the partial ceasefire they brokered in February.

The bloody civil war in Syria has been going on since 2011. Putin backs the Assad regime. Washington is aiming to receive greater cooperation with Moscow in fighting the terrorist rebel groups, in exchange for Putin’s promise to rein in Assad.

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  • ISRAELI NATIONAL SECURITY TO BE ASSURED BY RUSSIA+?

    Ever since Bibi’s ‘secret’ trip to meet Putin in Moscow in October 2015 (shortly after Russia intervened in Syria), Bibi & Putin have been negotiating a deal to end the Syrian conflict on conditions that assure the national security of Israel & Israelis. U.S., Assad/Syria & Erdogan/Turkey also now involved.

    Putin & others may impose a condition on Assad/Syria precluding attacks from Syria — in exchange for Assad’s participation in new Syrian elections. Syrians overwhelmingly retained Assad as President in 2014 — and will probably do so again in 2017.

    However, in exchange for such national security assurances, Israel may need to accede to the unanimous UN Security Council resolution calling for return of Golan Heights to Syria.

    Given the Russia-driven evolution of positions of regional leaders on terrorism, Russia, U.S. & others may be able to devise a deal that works for almost all — including Israel.

  • Reform School

    Unless he opts to have them eliminated [and thus they him] there is room for doubt President Putin can effectively rein in ANY tyrant willing to be martyred for his beliefs. With United States military power diminished or neutered by Barack Obama [and Hillary Clinton] via stolen elections, Putin’s trump card is nobody named Donald.

  • Herb Glatter

    please explain how “rebels” are still fighting combined forces of Assad, Putin, Khamenei and Nasrallah after five years, toda raba

  • nat cheiman

    A good spanking awaits Hezbollah and Hamas & Syrian troops.
    One never to be forgotten

  • i read your article of israel regarding golan heights/
    first the isreal jews should recognise that israel was created by god of israel, because god of israel loves the jewish people because he has said so, israel must understand they have to be dependent of the god israel. no one. the sooner they do that is better. when jesus walk in isreal. they did not recognise the day of his visitation so they were dipersed and about back.
    i do know about the holocast. questions arise, but the god of isreal has a HIS STORY with the jews. i also being a christian have health issues, accidents.
    the god of israel who is also jesus christ, even EVE in the garden was tempted say god does not love u and withhold goods from you. god of jesus or israel always loves, and is good all the time that is HIS character, he changes not.
    if u have the old testament of the book of JOB, god shows off JOB his servant, then JOB dillema begins
    israel should trust the messiah Jesus christ. let them ask HIM
    personally are u the messiahl yes or no
    thanks oswald mumbai india

    • Paul

      WTF?

    • How good you are in India and not in our army. With your advise, Israel would not exist. Leave the Bible and the religion alone. We are fighting for our existence agains muslim vandals killers. I doubt if God or Jesus woul be able to help, Anyhow, thank for the nice try.

  • RC

    Massive attacks upon Israel–are coming. And chief among Israel’s enemies is the Obama administration. And if Hillary Clinton is allowed to be the next president–she will be even worse than Obama and Valerie Jarrett.

    • D jolly

      Agree

  • richard sherwin

    from the IDF’s preparations to Gd’s ear….

  • Russian President Putin will most likely succeed in brokering a deal that ends the Syrian civil war. When Hezbollah foolishly attacks Israel, the IDF should reestablish a “buffer zone” in Southern Lebanon all the way to the southern part of the Litani River.

  • Jonah

    You can rest assured it was not Kerry’s idea to to go Russia…it was Obamas. They have determined that something has to be shaken up in order for this Mexican stand off to start going in a positive direction…a positive direction is when all the rebels focus on fighting Israel rather than themselves. So they send in Americas peacenik and make it appear on the surface he is attempting to reach a peaceful conclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth. The objective of this administration is for the destruction of Israel and don’t you forget it! The joint exercises are just smoke and mirrors to mask their true motives. Heads up Israel! The wolf is at the door.

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