Eastern Mediterranean 1973: Yom Kippur War: Israeli Counterattack
The Arab successes in the Yom Kippur War lasted just a few days before Israel was able to regain the initiative and launch counteroffensives, trapping the Egyptian Third Army east of the Suez Canal and invading Syria. By 25 October Egypt and Syria had agreed to UN-backed ceasefires—although the devastating oil embargo the Arab oil producing nations had placed on the US and its allies in retaliation for their support of Israel would last until March 1974.
8–23 Oct 1973 Israel Northern Front Offensive▲
Beginning on 8 October 1973 arriving Israeli reserve forces halted the Syrian offensive in the Golan Heights and began counterattacks, driving the Syrians from southern Golan by 10 October. On the 11th Israeli forces pushed into Syria from Quneitra, advancing steadily towards Damascus despite heavy Syrian opposition. Fighting ended on 23 October when both sides agreed to a UN-imposed ceasefire.
15–25 Oct 1973 Operation Abirey-Halev▲
After failed Israeli and Egyptian offensives (7–14 October 1973), Israel was ready for a major counterattack against Egyptian troops in the western Sinai. On the night of 15 October, Israeli paratroopers and tanks crossed the Suez Canal, penetrating 12 km into enemy territory and catching the Egyptians by surprise. Over the next days the Israelis secured their bridgehead, attacking Ismailia and trapping the Egyptian Third Army east of the Canal. On 22 October a UN-brokered ceasefire collapsed almost immediately; fighting was finally brought to an end by a second ceasefire on the 25th.
17 Oct 1973–17 Mar 1974 1973 Oil Crisis▲
In October 1973 the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)—who’s component nations produced about 75% of the world’s oil at the time—decided to cut oil production to force the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands to end their support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Beginning with a 5% cut on 17 October, oil production was dropped to 25% of pre-embargo levels by December, contributing to a global recession and causing tensions between the US and its European allies. The embargo was lifted in March 1974 after negotiations following the end of the Yom Kippur War.