Monday, September 09, 2013

9-Sep-13: Iron Dome battery positioned near Jerusalem

Iron Dome battery deployed somewhere
west of Jerusalem on Sunday [Image Source: AFP
Times of Israel reports tonight that an Iron Dome air defence system battery was deployed near Jerusalem for the first time ever on Sunday. This is seen as part of the military's preparation for the possibility that rockets or missiles will be fired at Israel if and/or when a military operation is undertaken against Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime. It's a reminder of how short the distances are in today's Middle East (as the rocket flies).

We Jerusalemites last heard incoming-missile sirens this past November ["17-Nov-12: Saturday night update"] when the Hamas regime in Gaza fired them at the capital during Operation Pillar of Defense. Two rockets are thought to have exploded somewhere outside, but close to, Jerusalem's city limits.

Haaretz says three other Iron Dome batteries were deployed in recent days at other key locations: near Tel Aviv, and near Haifa and in the Galilee of northern Israel. It says the IDF is considering whether to deploy another battery in northern Israel. Bamahane, the IDF magazine, has said six are currently in service around the country and more are on the way.

Officially at least, the assessment here is of a low probability that the Assad regime or its allies (presumably Hezbollah and Hamas) would attempt to hit Israel in response to a US-led attack on Syria. Times of Israel's article reminds us that "Syrian and Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to strike Israel if Obama goes ahead with military intervention."

No comments: