Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Israel's multi-layer defense system fully operational soon

Israel's multi-layer defense system fully operational soon

Israel's David's Sling anti-missile battery will go operational within the next two weeks, providing the final level of the Jewish state's multi-tiered missile defense array, an Israeli Air Force general says.

Last week Syria's army high command said Israeli jets had breached Syrian air space and attacked a military target near Palmyra, in what it described as an act of aggression that aided Islamic State.

Ambassador Gary Koren was called in by Russia's Foreign Ministry on Friday after news about the strike emerged, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the media on Monday, confirming earlier media reports.

The latest Israeli attack was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that the strike targeted a vehicle travelling on a road between Damascus and Quneitra, a town in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel.

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Syria's military said it had downed an Israeli plane and hit another as they were carrying out pre-dawn strikes near Palmyra, but the Israeli military denied that any planes had been hit.

David's Sling, created to shoot down rockets fired from 100 to 200 kilometres away, will be the final piece of a shield that already includes short-range Iron Dome and long-range Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missiles. Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF Aerial Defense Systems intercepted one of the missiles. The ministry "expressed concern" about the action taking place near Russian military locations. Israel and Hezbollah fought a short, intense war in 2006, which was unexpectedly hard for Israeli forces due to the sophistication of Hezbollah's weaponry.

Israel had anticipated a conflict that would undermine the Assad regime, seriously wound Hezbollah and push back Iran's attempts to expand its influence. Israel also fears that in the chaos of the Syrian war, the organization could get its hands on Syria's chemical weapons. Hezbollah claims that the attacks by Israel were in defense of ISIS in the region. "Hezbollah has been violating United Nations resolutions and is gearing for war", he said.

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