IAF F15 fighter jet 311 (R).
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
The situation in Syria is unstable and the IDF needs to keep a vigilant eye on
daily developments along the northern front, Israel Air Force head Maj.-Gen. Ido
Nehushtan said on Wednesday.
“We are following events in Syria all the
time, because what happens there could impact the region,” Nehushtan said during
a briefing at the Palmahim Air Force Base south of Rishon Lezion.
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Wednesday, the Syrian military held exercises, which included a number of
missile tests. During the maneuvers, Syria revealed, for the first time, the
P-800 supersonic Yakhont anti-ship missile, which it bought from Russia last
Israel had lobbied Russia not to sell the missiles to Syria, but
Moscow went ahead with the sale. Defense officials have said that missile would
pose a serious threat to Israel Navy ships and that it was possible that Syria would transfer them to
During the Second Lebanon War in July 2006, Hezbollah hit the
Israel Navy’s Hanit missile ship with an Iranian-supplied surface-to-sea
Israel is increasingly concerned that Syria will transfer
advanced weaponry, such as long-range missiles and sophisticated surface-to-air
missile systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Hezbollah has been reported to
be making efforts to get such weapons from Syria over concern that they could be
lost if President Bashar Assad’s regime is toppled.
Summing up 2011,
Nehushtan said the IAF carried out hundreds of air strikes, thousands of sorties
and tens of thousands of flight hours, and that the Iron Dome counter-rocket
system intercepted around 30 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.