The Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War, also known as the October War or the Ramadan War, was a surprise military attack launched by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel in 1973, to reclaim territories lost during the Six-Day War in 1967.

The conflict began on October 6, 1973, coinciding with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad orchestrated a coordinated assault on Israel, with Egypt attacking across the Suez Canal into the Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula and Syria launching an offensive in the Golan Heights. The element of surprise caught the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) off-guard, and the Arab forces initially made significant gains.

In the days following the initial attack, Israel, led by Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, scrambled to mobilize its forces and mount a counteroffensive. The United States, under President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, provided crucial military support to Israel. At the same time, the Soviet Union backed Egypt and Syria with arms and supplies.

Despite early setbacks, the IDF managed to turn the tide of the war, pushing Egyptian forces back across the Suez Canal and advancing into Syrian territory. After 19 days of intense fighting, a ceasefire was brokered by the United Nations on October 25, 1973, effectively ending the war.

The Yom Kippur War had far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond. It prompted a global energy crisis due to an oil embargo imposed by Arab oil-producing nations against countries supporting Israel. Furthermore, the war set the stage for the Camp David Accords in 1978, which led to the historic peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979 and increased diplomatic efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.