Assad forces bombard Homs; IDF deploys Iron Dome system near Haifa

A missile is fired from an Iron Dome interceptor battery in Israel.

The decision to place an Iron Dome battery in northern Israel appears to stem from tensions with Syria. Since the beginning of the year, batteries have been deployed several times in the Galilee and Haifa.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system was stationed in the Haifa area over the weekend. The IDF Spokesperson said “the system has been deployed throughout the country, in accordance with an evaluation of the situation.”

The decision to place an Iron Dome battery in Haifa appears to stem from tensions with Syria. Since the beginning of the year, batteries have been deployed several times in the Galilee and Haifa, following reports holding Israel responsible for attacking Syrian weapons convoys.

In recent days, senior Israeli officials have sent stern messages to the Assad regime and its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon. Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to a Golani infantry brigade exercise.

Netanyahu said during the visit that “the reality around us is changing rapidly. It is volatile and dynamic and we need to be prepared to adapt to and dictate the situations in accordance with developments. We are not looking to challenge anyone, but anyone who attacks the State of Israel should expect a severe and decisive response.”

Speaking during the Israel Air Force flight academy graduation ceremony the next day, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that “Syria is bleeding and in Lebanon, the fire has begun licking the edge of Nasrallah’s cape.”

Syria reported Saturday on a new offensive by Assad forces on the city of Homs, one of the rebels’ strongholds. This is the regime’s first broad operation since its victory in Qusair at the start of June. It appears the regime is trying to establish a base of power that can connect the capital Damascus with the Allawite enclave in the north of the country, and the coastline and the larger cities of Aleppo and Homs.

By Haaretz

 

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