Last week, Israeli Special Forces carried out a covert operation in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between Syria and Israel and destroyed two Syrian outposts. News of this operation became public on Tuesday.
IDF Special Forces from the Nachal and Yahalom units crossed into the demilitarized zone, destroyed the outposts with explosives, and re-entered Israel before being spotted. According to a Yahalom commander, the soldiers blew up the outposts simultaneously.
The operations occurred because Israel claims that Syria has continuously violated the U.S.-brokered 1974 disengagement agreement between the two countries. The agreement determines a designated buffer zone on the Israeli-Syrian border. The zone is to only be occupied by a special U.N. force called the Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Thus, the presence of Syrian troops in the zone is in violation of the agreement.
Nevertheless, the operation’s main goal was the deterrence of Syria’s collaboration with Hezbollah. “We’re aware of the collaboration between the Syrian military and Hezbollah,” Nachal commander Lt. Col. Tal Goritsky said. “Every military establishment by Syria has the potential to be a dual military establishment. We won’t allow southern Syria to become southern Lebanon.”
“An operation like this required extreme focus,” said Captain Michael Zilberg of the Nachal. “As soon as you cross the border, your pulse quickens. You’re facing the enemy. We were about 500 meters from a manned position.”