Iron Dome rocket defense battery deployed in Jerusalem area

Missile defense battery deployed near capital after Tel Aviv battery removed; report says part of routine IDF exercise.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
September 8, 2013 20:39
1 minute read.
Iron Dome rocket defense battery [file]

Iron Dome battery 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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An Iron Dome rocket defense system battery has been deployed in the Jerusalem area, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the deployment came as part of a routine exercise. The IDF deploys Iron Dome batteries in different areas according to situation assessments.

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A battery was deployed in the Tel Aviv area late last month as a US strike on Syria appeared imminent, but has since been moved.

An Israeli official said on Sunday that the United States would notify Israel hours in advance of an attack on Syria.

While formally on the sidelines of the Syria crisis, Israel fears coming under reprisals from its northern foe should the United States launch strikes to punish Damascus for alleged use of chemical weaponry.

Asked how much advance notice Israel would get from its US ally about such attacks, the Israeli official, who was briefed on contacts with Washington, told Reuters: "Hours."

Israel plans to deploy anti-missile systems and troop reinforcements if President Barack Obama, who faces domestic resistance over the military intervention in Syria, gives the green light for US action.



Obama has asked Congress to approve strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in response to a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 Syrians.

Next week in Washington, hundreds of activists of the influential pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee will lobby Congress for military action in Syria.

At the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no direct reference to the Syrian debate in the United States.

But Israeli officials have privately voiced concern US failure to attack Syria would embolden Iran, an ally of Damascus, in its defiance of international calls to curb a nuclear program which the West fears is aimed at developing nuclear arms.

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