IDF reserves summoned, civilians seek gas masks as Israel prepares for West’s Syria strike

( The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has called up reserve soldiers and placed additional Iron Dome batteries in the north as Western allies reportedly prepare to launch a military strike on the Syrian government for its use of chemical weapons.

The badge of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which summoned its reserves as a precaution in advance of a possible Western strike on Syria, which could result in retaliatory action by Syria against Israel. Credit: IDF.

According to IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz, who briefed the Israeli security cabinet on Wednesday, the military considers it a “low probability” that Syria would strike Israel if Syria is attacked by the U.S. and Western allies.

But the IDF has called up a limited number of reservists as a precautionary measure. As part of the additional preparations, the Israeli Air Force has also deployed Iron Dome batteries in several cities including Haifa, Ashkelon and Eilat, and will place additional batteries in northern towns such as Amakim and Safed.

Meanwhile, Israelis concerned about Syria’s use of chemical weapons flooded post offices and IDF Home Front Command distribution centers to obtain gas masks. Many Israelis were reportedly forced to wait for several hours in line for the masks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Israelis to remain calm.

“There is no reason to change our routine,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We are preparing for every eventuality. The IDF is ready to defend against any threat and to respond with force to any attempt to harm Israel’s citizens.”

Posted on August 28, 2013 .