Yom Kippur War

From Encyc

The Yom Kippur War was an Israeli-Arab war that took place in 1973. Due to Israeli intelligence failures, the Arabs were able to mount a successful surprise attack from Egypt and Syria, striking on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur.

The Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal and inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli Air Force using Soviet-supplied surface-to-air (SAM) missiles. They pushed back the IDF and threatened to break out into the Sinai, but as they outran their SAM protection the Israeli military recovered its footing and halted the Egyptian armored formations. Israeli counterattacks gained the western bank of the Suez, and large numbers of prisoners were captured.

In the north, the Syrians nearly pushed the Israelis out of the Golan Heights. Several sharp tank battles were fought, and as the Egyptians had already been defeated the Israelis were able to regain all of the lost territory and once again threaten Damascus.

The Yom Kippur War was an Israeli victory but by a much narrower margin than the Six Day War. The relative success of the Egyptian army gave both sides incentive to end the conflict on honorable terms, with Israel trading land for peace and returning the Sinai to Egypt.

In the north, Syria refused to make peace and continued to press its claim to the Golan. Agricultural communities flourished in the area and in 1981 it was formally annexed to Israel.