The Last Syrian Offensive - At the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Israelis could only spare two brigades to defend the strategic Golan Heights. On 6 October the Syrians attacked with five divisions, three of them mechanized, supported by mortars, artillery, mobile SAMs, and a heliborne commando brigade. The Israelis were therefore badly outnumbered, but were quickly reinforced by reservists (much sooner than the Syrians had anticipated). More significantly, the Israeli Air Force appeared overhead to impede the Syrian assault. However, the Syrians' surface-to-air missile batteries proved at least partially effective against those aircraft. Thus, among other things, the battle for the Golan would test the preeminence of air support against the ascendancy of the SAM.