IDF tests siren for rogue non-conventional missiles

Concern mounts in Israel over possibility that Syria’s chemical weapons will fall into rogue hands.

July 3, 2012 04:02
1 minute read.
Chemical weapons drill [file]

Chemical weapons drill 390. (photo credit: Reuters)

As concern mounts in Israel over the possibility that Syria’s chemical weapons will fall into rogue hands, the IDF recently tested a new air raid siren that will notify the public of incoming missiles carrying non-conventional warheads.

The possibility of using two different sirens during a future conflict – one for conventional missiles and the other for missiles carrying non-conventional warheads – was first revealed in The Jerusalem Post two years ago after it came up following that summer’s nationwide civil defense exercise.

At the time, the Home Front Command decided to shelve the plan, but several weeks ago – likely as result of the ongoing uprising in Syria – it renewed tests of the siren.

Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF Home Front Command has invested in improving Israeli warning systems and has doubled the number of sirens stationed throughout the country to a whopping 3,100.

While Israeli radars can detect missile launches, they are not capable of determining if a missile is carrying a nonconventional warhead.

“This would be based on intelligence but there is no reason for people to put on their gas masks for every missile that is fired into Israel if they don’t have to,” a senior Home Front Command officer explained.

As a result, it is possible that if war were to break out with Syria, which has a large arsenal of chemical weapons, the IDF would maintain a stringent policy of airing the non-conventional siren for every missile launched from Syria. On the other hand, a regular siren would sound for missiles launched from Lebanon.

Syria is believed to have one of the most extensive chemical weapons arsenal in the world which reportedly includes Sarin, VX and mustard gas.

Israel is concerned that Syria’s chemical weapons could possibly fall into rogue hands. This worry stems from intelligence obtained by the West which indicates that advanced conventional military platforms have already been moved out of Syria by Hezbollah.

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