Security officials: IDF reducing troop presence in Golan in effort to ease tensions
Security officials: Major training exercises to be moved to South in effort to ease tensions with Syria.
The Israel Defense Forces has decided that war with Syria is unlikely and is reducing its troop presence in the Golan Heights after months of cross-border tension, security officials say.
The decision followed months of growing tensions along the frontier and concerns that the escalation could result in war. Over the summer, Israeli and Syrian officials have repeatedly made alternating announcements that they had no interest in hostilities.
The Israeli officials said Syria's military has now also reduced its war readiness, but offered no details because the exact steps taken by the Syrians are classified. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge the information to the press.
IDF troops scheduled to hold maneuvers on the Golan Heights would now be moved away from the border to the country's south to further reduce friction, the officials said, and the army's war-readiness status on the Israel-Syria border is now considered over.
The IDF had previously increased its training exercises in the Golan Heights since the end of the Second Lebanon War last summer.