|Israeli tanks at Syrian border|
(Scroll down for video) The Israeli military and Israeli civilians are preparing for a U.S. led attack on Syria and possible retaliation by al-Assad, according to a reports by Tazpit News Agency.
Israel’s security cabinet approved a limited call-up of reservists on Wednesday as the Obama administration considers a possible US-led strike against Syria following Assad’s use of chemical weapons that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians one week ago on August 21.
In addition to calling up reservists who serve mainly in the Home Front Command and the Israel Air Force Active Defense wing, the IDF earlier deployed air defenses across the country including Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries in Eilat, Ashkelon and Haifa. The army also deployed Patriot and Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile batteries in the north and in areas that are close to the Syrian border.
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Tuesday that Israel would respond with full strength to any Syrian threat, the prime minister today asked that Israelis to continue on with their daily routines.
“Pursuant to the security consultation that was held today, there is no reason to change daily routines. At the same time, we are prepared for any scenario. The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and to respond strongly against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens,” said Netanyahu.
Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon stated on Wednesday at a Tel Aviv conference that “we are getting ready and are prepared, but there is no panic, no escalation, and things are being done judiciously.”
At the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, it was indicated that there was a “low probability” that the Assad regime would respond to US military action on Syria by striking Israel, according to a Jerusalem Post report. The US would inform Israel before a US-led strike on Syria would take place according to Israeli media report.
In any case, the demand for gas masks dramatically shot up, as thousands of Israelis rushed to post offices and IDF Home Front Command distribution centers on Wednesday. The Israeli Postal Company stated that three times as many people as usual were coming to get gas masks. According to media reports, only 60% of Israelis have gas masks, and a report in Globes stated that the Israeli government has yet to find a budget solution to manufacture gas masks for the entire population.