The need for more sophisticated monitoring along the Syrian-Israeli frontier became acute as various armed groups opposed to Israel, including those back by Iran, have moved closer to the border with Israel during the Syrian civil war. Israel’s greatest immediate concern is a group affiliated with the Islamic State, which controls the southern Syrian Golan Heights, but is also worried Iran may try to establish a beachhead near the border.
Israeli soldiers monitoring the Syrian border via video
The Israeli unit responsible for providing early warning against a possible attack on Israel from Syria are the lookouts of the Golan Division. The soldiers use a
multisensory system (MSS) comprised of a series of poles affixed with state of the art radars and cameras that allow them to see movements along the border and deep into Syria on their monitors. The MSS ranks suspicious activity based on a series of criteria, such as intelligence alerts, the sector’s history, and distance from the fence. Based on the evaluation, soldiers can immediately direct tanks, aircraft and artillery to neutralize a threat.
Lt.-Col. Nir Megidish oversees combat intelligence collection for the Bashan Division that has been tasked with defending the sector. “You can see tanks and APCs driving near the border fence,” he said, “and [we] have to distinguish at a moment's notice who’s a suspect and who isn’t, who’s about to point a barrel at you and who won’t attack.” Megidish added, “The cameras we have here allow lookouts to pinpoint not only a combatant on the roof of a building several kilometers away, but also note exactly the kind of gun he's armed with.”
Source: Yoav Zitun, “The IDF's eyes on Syria: the new system forewarning of Iranian retaliation,” Ynet, (April 28, 2018);
Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokespersons Unit.