“Give us help against the adversary; for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly; for He it is that will tread down our adversaries.” (Psalms 108:13-14)
Although officially the government maintains that an attack by Syria is “unlikely,” even following a US-led strike on the country, the security cabinet has nevertheless approved the call-up of thousands of reservists.
“The cabinet approved the call-up for several thousand reservists; the IDF has so far chosen only to call up a few hundred,” a military source told the Times of Israel. Most of these are for personnel from Home Front Command and the IAF’s Active Defense wing, responsible for defense against aerial attacks and rocket fire.
Security sources acknowledged that the approximately 1,000 reservists called were being used to staff missile defense systems, strengthen Home Front Command operations, and bolster some intelligence units.
During the five-hour meeting, the cabinet heard briefings regarding potential developments should the likely US-led response attack on Syria take place. Last Wednesday, Syria’s Bashar Assad turned his chemical weapons on his own people, killing hundreds of citizens. Security chiefs deemed a Syrian attack on Israel a low risk, but the cabinet determined it was better to play it safe. The reservists were called up after Iron Dome batteries, Arrow short-range rocket defense systems and Patriot missile defense systems were deployed in the north.
“We are getting ready and are prepared, but there is no panic,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday while speaking at a Tel Aviv economic conference. “The Syrians have crossed a red line set by the Americans. We are not dealing with this issue, the West and the Unites States are,” he added.
The defense minister went on to say, “The Middle East, in the near future, will be characterized by a chronic instability. However, our borders are stable despite isolated incidents. Our responses illustrate our own red lines and are based on deterrence.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, amid the tension Russia has decided to send two warships to the east Mediterranean to strengthen its fleet in case Syria, a Russian ally, needs their assistance. The Interfax news agency reported quoted a source in the armed forces’ general staff as saying an anti-submarine vessel and a missile cruiser would be sent in the coming days because the situation “required us to make some adjustments” in the naval force. According to Interfax, the ships will arrive ” in the coming days.”