Israel no longer positioned for war on Golan

Thursday, August 30, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli military officials said on Wednesday that the war-readiness status of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the Golan Heights is considered over following intelligence reports severely downgrading the possibility of war with Syria in the near term.

In order to ease tensions along the border, Israeli is redeploying most of its forces currently stationed on the Golan to the south of the country, reported The Associated Press.

Israel recently held its largest military exercises ever on the Golan amid reports of a Syrian military buildup in preparation for a possible assault on the strategic plateau, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War after it had been used for the preceding 19 years as a base for Syrian military aggression against the Jewish state.

Senior Syrian officials have warned in recent months that if Israel maintains its refusal to hold negotiations leading to a full withdrawal from the Golan, Syria will be left with no choice but to launch low-level cross-border attacks aimed at eliciting a strong Israeli response and thereby justifying a Syrian missile assault on Israel.

Damascus was reportedly encouraged by the successes of Lebanon's Hizballah in last summer's war with Israel, and is keen to imitate the tactics of its proxy.

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