Israeli defense officials are bracing for the possibility of an Iranian revenge attack from Syria in the near future, in the form of rocket and missile launches at northern Israel.
Officials believe Iran is determined to retaliate for the April 9 airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase, which killed seven Iranian military advisers and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Iran blames Israel for this attack.
Israel has detected unusual involvement by Hezbollah in Iran’s preparations for retaliation, even though the organization has been trying to keep its activity low-profile so as not to affect its position within Lebanon. Aside from Hezbollah commanders, operatives from the Shi’ite militias that Iran funds in Syria have also been active in the preparations.
The operational planning, however, is being done by members of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force.
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Israel’s assessment is that Iran seeks to settle its open account with Israel, but wants to do so without sparking a war. One possible solution to this dilemma is trying to fire a limited barrage at military targets in northern Israel.
Israel is taking various protective measures against any possible missile fire. Defense sources said Israel’s anti-missile systems are prepared to deal with rocket fire.
Over the past few days, military officials have briefed mayors nationwide about the latest developments.
The decision to publish this information in the media is presumably meant to deter Iran and Hezbollah from carrying out their plans.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will fly to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At this meeting, Netanyahu will reiterate Israel’s opposition to Iran’s continued military consolidation in Syria and ask Putin to work to prevent it.