Israel says 'low probability' of Syrian attack as U.S. prepares strike

Aug. 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Israeli military officials Wednesday downplayed the probability of a Syrian attack in response to potential U.S. strikes on the regime's forces.

In a briefing of the Israeli's security Cabinet, senior defense officials including Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz indicated there was a "low probability" of such retaliation, The Jerusalem Post reported.

As a precaution, the security Cabinet approved a limited call-up of reservists.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said citizens should carry on their lives as normal.

After the meeting, Netanyahu issued another statement saying the military "is ready to defend against any threat and prepared to respond severely against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens."

The volatile situation caused a rush at gas mask distribution centers. Military officials said the supply could soon be depleted.

The Israel army deployed a second Iron Dome anti-missile battery in northern Israel following reports of an expected Western attack in Syria, officials said.

The Israeli air force has also raised its Arrow 2 missile system's level of alertness, the Israeli broadcaster Arutz Sheva reported. The Arrow 2 is designed to intercept ballistic missiles.

Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Israel is monitoring the situation.

"As is required, the [army] is examining, following and watching the developments, hour by hour. The Home Front Command knows its job well and is prepared to give any required solution for the population," he said.

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