The Syrian armed forces have been strengthened in an "unprecedented way" with the help of Iran and its troops appear to be moving closer to the border with Israel, the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper reported in its headline on Thursday. The Syrians are bolstering their forces in all areas except the air force, it added.
The report which is based on the Israeli intelligence, said the Syrian navy, after years of neglect, is also being reinforced with an Iranian version of a Chinese anti-ship missile. In addition to the overall strengthening of the armed forces in Syria, there has been a redeployment of forces along the front lines. The Syrians have moved forces closer to the border with Israel in the Golan Heights, the newspaper said.
Syria's rebuilding of its military strength has also included test launches of ballistic missiles. Lately, the Syrians test-fired a Scud-D surface-to-surface missile. The Scud-D has a 400-kilometer range and covers most of the territory of Israel.
It should be noted that Israel's Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday paid a visit to the Paratrooper Brigade, which was participating in a large-scale exercise on the Golan Heights. The exercise involved a scenario in which there was a confrontation with Syria. "We are ready for any eventuality. Not necessarily on the part of the Syrians," Ashkenazi said.