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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

US learning urban warfare tactics from IDF

"IDF teaches US soldiers guerilla response"

In order to improve their skills and learn firsthand tactics adopted by the IDF in urban and guerilla warfare in the West Bank and Gaza, US Army units are undergoing training in the special anti-terror school located in the Adam base near Modi'in.

After completing their training, the units will return to Iraq. The IDF Spokesman said, "The army does not comment on cooperation with foreign armies," but did not deny US forces were currently training in Israel.

In November last year, US generals visited Israel to study tactics adopted by the IDF in its ongoing war against terror. A report in the New York Times claimed US military officials were studying the tactics and strategy used by IDF forces operating in the West Bank and Gaza within densely populated Palestinian areas.

US Army officials later adopted the IDF's policy of demolishing houses belonging to terrorists suspected of attacking US troops in Iraq, set up checkpoints similar to those in the West Bank, deployed sniffer dogs to seek out explosives, and in a number of cases arrested relatives of terror suspects to glean information.

Last year, a senior OC Ground Forces officer told The Jerusalem Post the IDF will rent out the new urban warfare training center located at Tze'elim in the Negev to foreign armies in an attempt to revive the slashed defense budget. Since then, a number of countries, including Germany, have sent units to the center.

The center, expected to be completely operational within two years, is considered the largest of its kind in the world and boasts a digital battlefield. Even while it is under construction entire divisions, infantry, and armored units will be able to train without using their vehicles.