Reserve forces cross Syria border barrier for rare mission in high-risk zone after IDF spots suspicious activity in area.
A team of IDF reserve forces crossed the border barrier with Syria last week for a secret operation, the army revealed on Wednesday. The sensitive mission was carried out in a high-risk zone, an Israeli enclave located beyond the border fence.
About 20 soldiers crossed the barrier at night and advanced for six hours in the heavily mined area, the IDF said. No details were provided about the exact nature of the operation and its objective.
The forces were accompanied by bomb experts and troops from the armored and artillery corps. As part of the mission, an ambush was set up in the area, the army said.
IDF monitors suspicious activity
The IDF recently spotted intense activity in the area by Syrian shepherds, a senior commander said, shedding some light on the circumstances of the operation. “We understand that they’re not approaching the fence innocently,” he said.
The IDF suspects that these shepherds are working on behalf of a terrorist group to test the army’s vigilance and prepare for attacks, the officer said. He did not name the organization but was likely referring to Hezbollah, which maintains a strong presence in southern Syria.
Israel is concerned that Syrian shepherds working on behalf of foreign masterminds could plant explosives in the area, the IDF said. During the operation, forces spotted movements nearby, the army added. Notably, Hezbollah also uses an extensive network of shepherds to spy on Israel from Lebanon.
“We carried out an important mission with great responsibility for the safety of Golan residents,” the commander concluded. The army noted that cross-border operations by reserve forces are rare, but didn’t explain why it chose to deploy reservists this time. In October 2020, elite IDF forces crossed the border to blow up Syrian army positions in the Golan.