Suspecting the Arabs would reap lasting military gains, and worried about the war’s impact on de-escalation between the United States and the Soviet Union, Moscow was interested in a ceasefire during the conflict. No progress was made in peace, however, so the following year Sadat (the Egyptian president at the time) declared war inevitable and prepared to sacrifice a million soldiers against Israel. Throughout most of 1972 and 1973, Sadat threatened to go to war if the US did not force Israel to accept their interpretation of Resolution 242 (adopted by the UN after the 1967 Six-Day War): Israel Complete withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967.
October 6, 1973 Egypt and Syria attack Israel in an attempt to force Israel to relinquish land it won in the 1967 Six-Day War October 6, 1973, in an attempt to recapture what Israel lost in the 1967 Third Arab-Israeli War Territorial Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a coordinated attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. On October 6, 1973, the Jewish Day of Yom Kippur, Syrian and Egyptian troops attacked military strongholds in the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula, respectively, and by surprise seized the small number of Israeli troops stationed there. On October 16, 10 days after the start of the war, the Israeli army led by Sharon successfully broke through the defense lines of Egypt and Syria and came to an astonishing distance from Cairo, the capital of Egypt.
Placed on the defensive during the first two days of fighting, Israel mobilized its reserves and eventually pushed back the troops and took the war deep into Syria and Egypt. The war lasted three weeks, during which Israel pushed back the Syrian forces in Syria and crossed the English Channel, surrounding the Egyptian army. Israel signed a formal ceasefire agreement with Egypt on November 11 and with Syria on May 31, 1974. The war did not immediately change the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but it had a significant impact on Israel’s trajectory. a peace process between Egypt and Israel culminating in the return of the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for a lasting peace.
The Six Day War (1967), the previous Arab-Israeli war in which Israel captured and occupied Arab territories, including the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, was followed by years of sporadic fighting. In 1967, Israel launched attacks on Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, sparking the June War that resulted in Israel’s occupation of what was left of historic Palestine, as well as the Egyptian Sinai Desert and the Golan Heights from Syria. The war began on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria, crossing the ceasefire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights respectively, which were captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six Day War. The war began when an Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions on Yom Kippur, which also falls during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this year.
Against this backdrop, Cold War politics between the Soviet Union, which provided arms to Arab states, and the United States, which supported Israel, staged and fueled the war, bringing the two groups to the brink of military conflict for the first time. After the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, at least nine Arab states, including four non-Middle Eastern states, actively assisted Egypt and Syria in their war efforts. During the war, Iraqi divisions of some 18,000 men and hundreds of tanks were deployed to the central Golan and took part in the attack on Israeli positions on 16 October.
In addition to Syria’s missile attack on Ramat-David Air Base and nearby civilian settlements in the early days of the war, the fighting took place in the Sinai and Golan Heights, territory Israel has occupied since late 1967. After the outbreak of the war, on the western side of the Suez Canal in Egypt and beyond the Golan Heights, which was controlled by Israel before the outbreak of the war. When the Fourth Arab-Israeli War began on October 6, 1973, many Israeli soldiers left their posts to celebrate Yom Kippur, while the Arab armies achieved impressive results using newer Soviet weapons. The build-up in Egypt was also similar to what happened in May 1973, but did not lead to war.
On October 4, the day before Russian civilians were leaving Egypt and Syria, military intelligence reported that the likelihood of war was low. Israel has spies in Egypt, but Ashraf Marwan, son-in-law of former president Gamal Abdul Nasser, warned his Mossad chief in London a day and a half before war was looming. Second, they learned from a senior Egyptian informant (still kept secret to this day, known only as “The Source”) that Egypt wanted to retake the Sinai Peninsula, but would not go to war until the Soviet Union offered Egypt. Eliminate the Israeli Air Force with fighter-bombers and attack Israeli cities with Scud missiles to deter Israeli attacks on Egyptian infrastructure. With the Soviet Union yet to deliver fighter-bombers, with Scud missiles not arriving in Egypt until late August, and four months to train Egyptian ground crews, Oman predicts war with Egypt is not inevitable.
First, it is correct to assume that Syria will not go to war with Israel unless Egypt also goes to war. Then, finally, on Friday, October 5, 1973, the day before the war started, it became clear that Egypt would strike, and then the question arose whether Israel should strike preemptively as they did in ’67. In early October 1973, neither Israeli nor American intelligence agencies were aware of a looming war. The Israeli military intelligence organization AMAN and the entire leadership believed that the nation’s military would prevent war and downplay the possibility of conflict until 1975, when things improved in Egypt and Syria.
The Arabs managed to catch the IDF by surprise and inflict heavy losses on the supposedly invincible Israeli army in the first part of the war, a painful experience for Israel. Just six years ago, Israel won an even more decisive victory. During the Six-Day War, Israel struck first after seeing the Egyptians and Syrians prepare for prosperity, effectively ending the war before it began, and capturing East Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights , tripled the size of the Jewish state in less than a week. Israeli leaders believe the next war will be the same as the previous one.