Commander of the 36th Division of the IDF, Brig.-Gen. Tamir Hyman said yesterday that the IDF is bolstering its defences along the Syrian border following concerns that terrorists are planning an attack in the Golan Heights . Hyman briefed reporters during a tour of border military positions throughout the Golan Heights. Hayman’s Division is tasked with defending the Golan and the border with Syria.
Hyman told reporters that in the coming years the army expects to reinforce the barrier along the southern section of the border – in the Golan Heights area. The area’s topography makes it particularly susceptible to infiltration.
“We are working to provide an operational response to the challenge that is developing in Syria and are preparing for the possibility of a terror attack that will be launched without prior warning from army intelligence – as was the case in the attack in Ein Netafim a year ago, which originated in Sinai,” Hyman said. “The lack of governance in remote areas such as Sinai and the Israel-Syria border helps the terror groups develop,” he added.
Army officials are not ruling out a situation whereby terrorists take advantage of the chaos that ensues following a violent regime change, as was the case in the Sinai Peninsula after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year.
The IDF is concerned that the Horan region, near the border with Israel, will become a “no man’s land” and a hotbed of terrorism, in the absence of a central authority in Damascus. Military officials and planners are also not ruling out the possibility of rocket fire from Syria and attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.
In related news, according to an unconfirmed report from this morning, General Mustafa al-Sheikh of the Free Syrian Army told Reuters that the Assad regime has massed approximately 170 tanks near the Turkish border.
According to the report, the tanks are now located 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border, northeast of Aleppo. The move comes after Turkey on Thursday sent anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and other fortifications to the border, marking an escalation in hostilities between the two countries.
Last week, Syria shot down a Turkish fighter plane, which they claimed had made an illegal foray into Syrian airspace. The Syrian government later claimed that the plane was targeted because they believed it belonged to Israel.