First report: In June 1982, during the First Lebanon War, the IDF lost a battle against the Syrian army at Sultan Yacoub in Lebanon. In the end, a tank that was captured by the Syrian army in this battle was sent to Russia. Today, it was reported that Russia has agreed to return the tank to Israel.

The missing soldiers

The missing soldiers Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Channel 2 News

Today (Sunday), it was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to receive the IDF tank that was captured by Syrian forces 34 years ago during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub. Russia acquired the tank from the Syrians shortly after it was captured. The three IDF soldiers who were fighting in the tank during the battle are still considered missing in action.

In June 1982, during the First Lebanon War, a battle took place between the IDF and the Syrian army at Sultan Yacoub in Lebanon. The IDF lost the battle, which is considered one of the Israeli army’s greatest failures during the war. Dozens of IDF soldiers were killed in the battle and three reservists who were in the tank- Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman- are still considered missing today.

During the battle, the tank was hit and the Syrians captured it. Shortly after the battle, the Syrians gave it to the Russians so that they could analyze its protection capabilities that were considered advanced at the time. After completing the analysis, the Israeli tank was moved to the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow, where it has been on display for the past three decades.

About a month ago, when Netanyahu was visiting Moscow, he asked Putin to allow the tank to return to Israel. At the end of the last week, Netanyahu was told by Putin that his request has been approved. Netanyahu talked today with the families of the missing IDF soldiers and informed them of the news.