Israel has deployed a third Iron Dome missile defense system in the north, shortly after the IDF air strike near the border between Syria and Lebanon, AFP reports.
“The deployment of several Iron Dome batteries in the north of the country comes as part of the setting up of the system,” an IDF spokesperson said.
The third Iron Dome battery was ordered to the north after Defense Minister Ehud Barak all but confirmed that Israel was behind the January 30 air strike against Syria.
The strike targeted a military complex outside Damascus, some 7 miles from the Lebanese border, that according to one U.S. official contained surface-to-air missiles, and an adjacent facility said to house chemical weapons.
Last month, two Iron Dome batteries were deployed to Israel’s north as a precaution against potential attacks from Syria or Lebanon.
Israel has warned repeatedly about the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist Hezbollah, following Syrian President Bashar al-Assad all-but-certain fall, losing a two-year civil war that killed more than 60 thousand Syrians.
The Iron Dome batteries – which shoot down missiles from up to 45 miles – will allow Israel to launch a quick strike on targets inside Lebanon and Syria while protecting its own civilians from a rocket retaliation.
The anti-missile system, best in the world, played a major role in blocking incoming missiles from Gaza during the eight-day confrontation last November between Israel and Hamas.