The launch pad of the Iron Dome system was deployed in Sderot, Israel, in May 2023. Photo: Reuters
The launch pad of the Iron Dome system was deployed in Sderot, Israel, in May 2023. Photo: Reuters

The Israeli army strengthens its air defense network and calls up reserve soldiers to prepare for a scenario where Iran attacks in retaliation for an air attack on the consulate in Syria.

Israeli media today said that the country’s army is on high alert to prevent direct attacks from Iranian territory instead of raids conducted by pro-Tehran militias in Lebanon and Iraq. as in the past.

Efforts to prepare for response include strengthening the air defense network and calling up reserve soldiers ready to participate in combat, although specific numbers have not been announced.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on April 3 that the country’s armed forces are expanding their “campaign against Hezbollah and entities that threaten the nation of Israel”, affirming that Tel Aviv has the ability to attack all opponents in the Middle East.

“It is necessary to be prepared for all scenarios and threats, both near and far. We know how to protect civilians and attack the enemy,” he said during a defense exercise in the city of Haifa.

Iranian officials have not commented on the information.

Tehran was very angry and vowed to retaliate after seven Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) officials were killed in an attack on the consulate in the country’s embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, on April 1.

Israel has targeted the interests of Iran and its allies in Syria for many years under the pretext of preventing emerging threats to the country’s security. However, the raid earlier this week was a serious escalation because it targeted the embassy compound and killed General Mohammed Reza Zahedi, one of the IRGC’s top commanders.

This is the largest attack directly targeting Iranian facilities and personnel since the US killed General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC, in Iraq in January 2020. Iran considers this an attack on its sovereign territory according to international law.

Tel Aviv has previously responded with limited response to raids conducted by pro-Tehran forces. However, if Iran attacks directly on its territory, the Israeli army may have to launch a large-scale response, causing regional tensions to escalate out of control, experts assess.