update deskIsrael at War

Israel calls up aerial defense reservists amid Iranian threats

Tehran is threatening retaliation for the death of a top Quds Force commander in an alleged Israeli strike in Damascus.

An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet at the Tel Nof base. Jan. 1, 2024. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.
An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jet at the Tel Nof base. Jan. 1, 2024. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90.

Israel is bolstering its air defense system as Tehran vows to retaliate for Monday’s killing of a top Quds Force commander in Syria.

“Following an IDF situational assessment, it was decided to increase manpower and draft reserve soldiers to the IDF Aerial Defense Array,” the army announced on Wednesday night.

According to Israeli assessments reported by Channel 12, Iran could attempt to attack Israel through one of its terror proxies, whether it be Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen or militia forces in Syria.

Israeli military formations will be boosted and deployments shifted in preparation for a possible attack, according to the report.

Also amid the Iranian threat, the IDF on Thursday took the unusual step of canceling leave for all IDF combat units.

“In accordance with the situational assessment, it has been decided that leave will be temporarily paused for all IDF combat units. The IDF is at war and the deployment of forces is under continuous assessment according to requirements,” the army said in a statement.

On Thursday, there were GPS disruptions in central Israel, including Waze and Google Maps giving wrong locations and the Gett taxi and Wolt delivery apps not working.

“The disruptions are an effective tool to confuse a weapon that [uses] GPS [to navigate],” the former head of the national cyber system, Yigal Ona, told Ynet.

“Like any strong medicine, it has side effects, and in the meantime I suggest going back to the maps once in a while. It can be managed. It’s not an attack—it’s a defense,” said Ona.

“We need to be prepared and ready for every scenario and every threat, against enemies both near and far. We know how to protect the citizens of Israel and we know how to attack our enemies, and we are committed to preparation both in the IDF, both in the security system and in the civilian space,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said late Wednesday night.

Also on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened Israel in a Hebrew-language tweet, writing, “With God’s help we will make the Zionists repent of their crime of aggression against the Iranian consulate in Damascus.”

Seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its leader in Syria and Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, were killed in Monday’s attack in Damascus, which targeted a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, a deputy commander in the Quds Force, was also among those killed.

Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the attack, but four Israeli officials told The New York Times that the Jewish state had carried out the strike.

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