white on transparent (1)

Karpatské Námestie 10A, Bratislava, Slovakia 


The Expected Mountain War

2024-04-08 11:04

Issam Khoury

#MiddleEastSecurity , #IsraelQalamounWarfare , #IDFMountainBrigade , #RussianObservation , #SyrianBorderTensions , #HezbollahChallenge , #MilitaryReadiness,

The Expected Mountain War

"Israel preps for Qalamoun mountain warfare; tensions rise with Russian posts, IDF brigade setup."

Ten Russian observation posts on the Syrian-Israeli border, with an additional site added on Mar 20, 2024, in the town of Bire Ajam in Quneitra. This increase aims to calm the front likely to ignite, especially as the Israelis, in addition to their frequent airstrikes on Damascus and on sites of Iranian Revolutionary Guard supporters in southern Syria, are carrying out assassination operations against a number of figures. According to field observers from the Quneitra area, a member of the Syrian State Security, "Mahmoud Abu Ratib[1]," was kidnapped for several hours, and then his body was seen at the border strip.


Ora Levitt from IDF Reserves also tweeted on Mar 19, 2024, announcing:

“A new IDF brigade was established on the Syria-Lebanon border, the "Mountain" division, to defend the Mt Hermon & Mt Dov sectors, replacing the "Hermon" division (810). Col. Liron Appleman was appointed as the commander.[2]


The Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee clarified in a tweet on Mar 19, 2024, that this brigade will start its missions in the coming weeks in engaging in combat in mountainous terrain in the areas of Mount Sheikh and Mount Hermon (Har Dov)[3].



All of this data confirms the predictions we outlined in our report "Likelihood of Ground Incursions[4]" issued by The Czech-Slovak Institute of Oriental Studies on March 19, 2024. Following the October 7, 2023, war, Israel is no longer a stable state and is compelled to regain its international and regional standing. It cannot prove to the world that it is a dominant regional power in the Middle East and a leading global technological force while its security is threatened by several militias backed by a military wing affiliated with the Iranian army called the "Iranian Revolutionary Guard."



According to colleague Assistant at the Democracy Defense Foundation "Seth J. Frantzman[5]", since the beginning of January 2024, Israel has redeployed the 36th Armored Division in northern Israel, transferred Golan infantry and the 188th Armored Brigade to northern Syria-Lebanon. The Israeli army also has the Egoz unit, originally an elite unit within the Golan infantry that focused on the northern borders before being transferred to the Khan Yunis area where it operates within the Commando Brigade[6].



Opening a large military front in northern Israel will be a costly operation for the Israeli army, requiring them not to be complacent and underestimate their enemies as happened in the south with Hamas. Therefore, Col. Liron Appleman will seek to train his forces rigorously to ensure they do not suffer major losses, especially since Hezbollah fighters are trained at a higher level than Hamas fighters and have a better understanding of the complex terrain of the Syrian Qalamoun Mountains. Hence, we expect that the mountain battle will not be ready for execution without the return of the elite unit within the Golan infantry from the Gaza Strip. And since the Israelis are determined to invade Rafah, they may be forced to postpone their attack in the northern front until the operations there are completed.


If the Americans succeed in mediating the release of Israeli-Palestinian detainees, operations in the Gaza Strip may be delayed allowing the elite unit within the Golan infantry to support the "Mountain" division in carrying out its operations in northern Israel.



The Israeli option of invading mountainous areas will not be limited to Hezbollah, as Iraqi Shiite militias target Israeli territories with marches. Despite their announcement that these marches originate from Iraqi territories, it is not logical due to the geographical distance exceeding 670 miles. Even if Iraqis have these aircraft, they are capable of penetrating Syrian territories to reduce that area, especially since many of their elements roam freely in the capital, Damascus.


Therefore, Israeli intelligence will be on high alert to capture fighters from the "Iraqi Islamic Resistance," which means a high use of advanced technology that requires disabling Russian surveillance sites. Despite the Russians claiming neutrality, they are actually failing to control the Syrian borders, and their intelligence, despite its high reputation, has failed to protect Russian civilians[7] near the Russian capital on March 22, 2023, despite being in a military alert state. This means that increasing or decreasing Russian surveillance points is actually a formal measure aimed at showcasing Russia as a global power, while in reality, it is a genuine partner of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in deploying its advisors on Syrian soil.




[1] X.com, Mar 20, 2024


[2] @IDFsoldiergirl, Mar 19, 2024, X.com.



[3] @AvichayAdraee, Mar 19, 2024, X.com.



[4] Likelihood of Ground Incursions, By Issam Khoury, Mar 19, 2024, CSIOS.


[5] Seth J. Frantzman is an adjunct fellow at FDD. He is the author of two books; Drone Wars: Pioneers, Killing Machines, Artificial Intelligence, and the Battle for the Future (2021) and After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East (2019). He is the acting news editor and senior Middle East correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. Seth has researched and covered conflict and developments in the Middle East since 2005 with a focus on the war on ISIS, Iranian proxies, and Israel defense policy. He covers Israeli defense industry developments for Breaking Defense and previously was Defense News’ correspondent in Israel.


[6] srael bulks northern defense with new mountain brigade amid ongoing Hezbollah threat, By Seth J. Frantzman, Mar 19, 2024, FDD



[7] Putin says Moscow concert attackers tried to escape to Ukraine, Kyiv denies involvement, france24, Mar 23, 2024



Lorem Ipsum dolor sit amet