Monday, May 7, 2018

Israel On Peak Alert For Iranian Missile Strike, Iran Planning To Launch A Barrage Of Missiles

Israel on peak alert for Iranian missile strike as Lebanese vote ends

Israel’s three-week long high military alert along its northern borders with Syria and Lebanon peaked Sunday night, May 6, as polling stations closed in Lebanon’s first election in nine years.  Israeli political and military strategists calculate that, now the election is over, Iran will make good on its vow of vengeance at any time between now and the May 14 inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem. 

The Palestinian Naqba Day on May 15 is another date to watch. 

All the signs, including intelligence input, indicate that Iranian and Hizballah units have completed their preparations for a missile attack and are standing ready in their positions. Israel estimates that Iran will go for military targets mainly in northern Israel, although civilian locations may also be threatened. Its air force and the entire range of air defense weaponry is on the highest alert.

Iran’s leaders are clearly determined to punish Israel for three attacks on Iranian Revolutionary Guards targets in Syria on February 10, and on April 9 and 29, in one of which, at Syria’s T-4 air base, seven Iranian servicemen were killed. DEBKAfile’s military sources note that no Israeli officials or military chiefs have given out any details on how the IDF will respond to an Iranian or Hizballah attack. However, there can be no doubt that the presumed missile offensive can be cut short only by destroying the launchers deep inside Syria and possibly in Lebanon too. This sort of operation may spread over several days with no certainty about how it may develop. The Israeli security cabinet was convened Sunday for briefings on the forecast and preparations.

Iran is preparing a barrage of missiles to launch against Israeli military positions from Syrian territory, Hebrew media reported Sunday, citing defense officials.

Iran plans to avenge alleged Israeli strikes on its bases in Syria, Ma'ariv defense analyst Alon Ben David said, by targeting military targets in northern Israel.

As of now, Israel isn't "on the eve of war against Iran," he said, "but the Iranians do want revenge for their losses.”

Iran plans to use Shiite militias already deployed in Syria along with experts from Hezbollah, according to Channel 2 News military analyst Roni Daniel. The proxies would be overseen by general Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps abroad.

Tensions have risen dramatically between the two arch-enemies following the infiltration of a Iranian drone into northern Israel, which the IDF says was armed and on a sabotage attack mission against the Jewish State.

Israel is said to have been preparing for a direct attack from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps since mid-April in response to a strike allegedly carried out by the Jewish state against an Iranian operated airbase in Syria which killed seven IRGC soldiers.

A senior IDF official confirmed to The New York Times in late April that Israel was behind the attack, stating that the February incident “opened a new period” between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic.

Following the strike, Ali Akbar Velayati, the top aid to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned Israel “should be waiting for a powerful response” to the strike on the airfield, saying "it will not remain unanswered.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells cabinet that Israel retains "full freedom of action" to defend itself against Iranian aggression • Netanyahu to discuss Iranian threat to Israel in meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week.

 Netanyahu proclaimed Sunday that since Iran is supplying advanced weapons to Syria, posing a direct threat to Israel, it would be better to confront Tehran sooner rather than later.

Speaking at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu declared that "we are determined to block Iran's aggression against us even if this means a struggle. Better now than later."
"We do not want escalation, but we are ready for any scenario," Netanyahu added.

Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate a permanent Iranian military presence in neighboring Syria. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and has provided crucial military aid to his forces.

"In recent months, the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard have been moving advanced weaponry to Syria to strike us, both the war front and the homefront. This includes attack drones, surface-to-surface missiles, and anti-aircraft systems that pose a threat to Israeli aircraft," Netanyahu said.

Evoking history, Netanyahu noted that "nations that were unwilling to act in time to stop murderous aggression against them went on to pay a much heavier price later."

The prime minister told the cabinet that he was due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow later this week.

"Meetings with the Russian president are always important to Israel's security and to coordination between the IDF and the Russian military," he noted.

"Israel retains full freedom of action to defend itself," Netanyahu declared, adding that this week's meeting with Putin was of particular importance in light of Iran's mounting attempts to position itself against Israel in Syria.

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