IDF's Syrian Blitzkrieg
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Many years afterwards, I have solid reasons to think that this plan would never be implemented; neither in Iraq nor in the only other possible landing spot. Military exercises not always become operative. However, they always broadcast a letter of intentions.
Shhhh! It's top secret!
The Letter's Message
The newspaper was kind enough to inform the composition of the force. An unidentified division from the Central Command** participated with a reserve battalion. The air force and the navy participated with their regular forces. This is enough to classify the event as a multi-branch event (ground-air-sea) carried out in a "skeleton-drill," i.e. the exercise was not intended to train the few participating soldiers, but the commanders and control facilities.
The event lasted four days and took place in the Galilee, in territory controlled by the IDF North Command. This is an important clue to what was being checked. The ground forces—which eventually are supposed to stick a flag atop the enemy's headquarter—had been taken out of their area. In other words, the IDF exercised a multi-branch attack deep in enemy's territory. This definition and the composition of the force define it as a blitzkrieg plan.+
"Bibi, to whom should I deliver the letter?" asked the postman
A continuous source of delight for me is the easiness that state agents are identified. Beyond the unavoidable Delay Effect there is a typical redundancy enforced by those who can't trust their own people. This case was not different.
There is no doubt that the event was closely watched by the main armies active in the area, including Syria. Its message was also pretty obvious. Yet, fastidious to the end, the IDF made sure that the message will pass. Fastidious to the end, it did so in a foolishly indirect fashion.
Yediot Ahronot reports that "partly, the goals of the exercise are not related to deep-strikes into Syria or the strained situation in the Golan Heights." Let me rephrase in the positive fashion favored by English speakers: "Partly, the event is related to a deep-strike in Syria."
"I still don't understand" said the Syrian soldier watching the approaching troops
Fastidious to the end, Israeli Minister of Defense Ya'alon delivered yesterday a speech in Ba'ad 1, the IDF Officers' School, during a graduation ceremony. He said: "...these days, the IDF faces, from inside and outside Israel, several fronts of uncertainty. We have such a front along the Lebanese border...We have such a front with Syria...a war that is approaching our borders..."
"Ok, OK," said Assad, "Got the message."
** Don't confuse the Central Command, responsible for the West Bank and central Israel and located in Jerusalem, with the IDF General Command in Tel Aviv.
+ Blitzkrieg is a term that was popularized by the media following the attack of Nazi Germany on Poland in 1939. it was coined in 1935 by the German Army, but similar attacks happened before, like the British attack in 1918, during the Battle of Megiddo.
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