IDF creates new elite unit specializing in combat of unconventional weapons

Company will operate under IDF Engineers’ Corps; Unit created following chemical weapons use in Syria

IDF soldiers at the Allenby Bridge (Reuters)

The IDF has announced the creation of a new unit (Sayfan) that will specialize in combat and defense against chemical and biological weapons.

The unit is part of the Engineer’s Corps and will draft soldiers who will undergo training in elite combat and intelligence. The company is different from the Engineers’ Corps in that Sayfan is a more developed and evolved unit of the Engineers’ Corps elite company that dealt with identifying and clearing contaminated areas. The unit will be one of the most prestigious and high-security units in the IDF.

The IDF has already begun recruiting soldiers for the unit.

According to IDF officials, the development of the unit is a result of evolving threats in the region and the creation of the unit started during Assad’s regime’s use of chemical weapons and proof of chemical weapon attacks by UN inspections of in Syria in 2014. While the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2118 banning and removing all chemical weapons from Syria, there are still to date undisclosed sites and stockpiles in Syria.