ARTICLE

Israel Sees Syrian Army Growing Beyond Pre-Civil War Size

News Image By Algemeiner.com August 09
Share this article:

Israel's defense minister said on Tuesday that Syria was building up its ground forces beyond their pre-civil war size, an assessment that suggests President Bashar al-Assad's army has recovered from a critical manpower shortage earlier in the war.

The Syrian military was hit by major defections in the first years of the conflict, which began in 2011, and by 2015 Assad acknowledged that "a shortfall in human capacity" meant the army could not fight everywhere for fear of losing vital ground.


Russia intervened militarily soon afterwards to turn the tide of war and has been helping arm and train the Syrian army. Iran has also backed Assad, sending military advisers and allied Shi'ite militia from across the region to support his troops.

Pro-government forces in the Syrian conflict have also included local militias raised by the Lebanese Hezbollah with Iranian support, including the National Defense Forces.

"Across the way we see the Syrian military, which is not satisfied with just taking over all of Syrian territory but is expressly building a broad-based, new ground army that will return to its previous proportions and beyond," Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters during a tour of the Golan Heights.

Israel closely monitors the military capacity of Syria, an adversary against which it has fought three wars. It captured the western 2/3 of the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and later annexed this area in a move not recognized internationally.

With Assad now regaining control, Israel has voiced worry that he might defy a 44-year-old Golan demilitarization deal that had stabilized their standoff.


In a Twitter statement, Lieberman said that Israel's tanks, deployed on parts of the strategic plateau, were "our crushing strike force and will know how to defend the border in any eventuality".

In a May interview, Assad also said Syria had improved its air defenses with Russian help.

The Golan saw large tank battles in 1967 and the subsequent Israel-Syria war in 1973.

In a July 19 briefing, the chief of Israel's armored corps told reporters that while the number of Israeli tanks fielded was unlikely to grow, a new, improved tank model would be introduced in 2021.

Originally published at Algemeiner.com - reposted with permission.


Other News

May 22, 2019On The Edge Of Disaster: Majority Of Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck

When the next recession strikes, millions of Americans that suddenly lose their jobs could find themselves facing financial disaster almos...

May 22, 2019Iran's Proxy War Is The Real Problem

While a full-scale war with Iran does not appear likely in the near future, low-intensity conflict against the West and its allies already...

May 22, 2019What Progressives Actually Mean By "Tolerance"

Progressives conflate behaviors with people, and then demand that we stop condemning certain behaviors because that is hateful to the peop...

May 22, 2019'Born This Way' - The Zombie Arguments that Just Won't Die

The LGB movement has largely retired the "born this way" argument to make way for the "T"--transgender identity. So in place of "I was bor...

May 21, 2019Academic Battles: Statement Of Faith vs. Statement Of Diversity

Despite leftist academia condemning Christian schools and organizations for their statements of faith, they see no irony in enforcing stat...

May 21, 2019Transgender Identity May Have Cost A Baby Its Life

When it comes to checking into a hospital, how you identify does not matter. What matters is your biology and trying to fight this reality...

May 21, 2019Superbugs Are Killing Antibiotics: One Disease Away From Disaster

"We're looking to the shelf for the next antibiotic, and there's nothing there," says Erica Shenoy, associate chief of the infection contr...

Get Breaking News