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Syria moved tank units up to the Lebanese Beqaa Valley border Tuesday, Oct. 7. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this is Damascus’ second troop movement on the Lebanese border. For three weeks, commando units have been poised on the North Lebanese border. In the first deployment, Syrian tanks and armored vehicles were kept some 3-10 km to the rear of frontline commando forces. In the second, which is much closer to the Israeli border, armor and tanks have been deployed at the front.
These military movements sent Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak on an unannounced visit Tuesday to check the state of readiness of the IDF’s dispositions on the Syrian and Lebanese border barriers. He cautioned the outpost commanders to exercise maximum vigilance in the coming days. The border seems quiet, he said, but officers must to take care never to permit a repeat of the Yom Kippur exactly 35 years ago when Israel was caught napping by the Syrian invasion.
Our sources report that Washington, Jerusalem and Beirut are bracing for the possibility that Damascus will seize the moment of the total shutdown in Israel for 25 hours from Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 8, to Thursday night, Oct. 9, for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and launch its military forces against northern Lebanon or the Golan.