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צילום: גיל יוחנן
Kaplinsky
Photo: Gil Yochanan
IDF: Misunderstanding may spark war with Syria
Deputy chief of staff says tense situation along border with Syria is alarming, adds Syria has no plan to attack Israel this summer

A misunderstanding between the Israeli and Syrian governments may spark a war between the two countries, the IDF deputy chief of staff warned on Wednesday.

 

Maj-Gen Moshe Kaplinsky said however that the army did not believe the two countries were heading for a confrontation, but acknowledged the situation along the border was tense.

 

"As far as I know, we are not heading for war with Syria this summer," said Kaplinsky in a meeting with military reporters.

 

Asked about the army's readiness for war in the aftermath of its poor performance against Hizbullah last summer, Kaplinsky said: "After last summer's war, the IDF is a different army. After the war all the operational plans have been rewritten."

 

He admitted that Syria's acquirement of sophisticated Russian arms was alarming but said the army believed Damascus was upgrading its armed forces for defensive reasons.

 

Kaplinsky said that the IDF had started implementing a series of recommendations made by internal inquiries, noting that old equipment was being upgraded. The army was criticized last summer for supplying old gear and equipment to the thousands of reservists who were called up for the war.

 

He also said that by the end of 2007 the army would be training 70 percent of the reserve forces on a regular basis.

 

Kaplinsky accused Iran of fanning extremism in the region by supporting Hizbullah and Hamas.

 

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