Israel deployed Iron Drone batteries around the southern Red Sea city of Eilat amid concerns of an attack from the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
Military sources said that Tel Aviv takes very seriously the Iranian threats to avenge the killings of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November and Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani a year ago.
The sources predicted several scenarios, including a ballistic attack on Eilat, which is located at a distance of around 1,800 kilometers from Yemen.
They said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard recently provided the Houthis with cruise missiles with a range of 2,000 kms and Israel was ready to strongly respond to any attack.
The Iron Dome is an integral part of Israel’s multi-layered defense system. It is generally used against rockets and mortar shells, but can also intercept small drones and cruise missiles.
Last month, military spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said Israel was tracking Iranian movements around the region, and that Israeli submarines were quietly “sailing everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Israeli sources confirmed that two US B-52 bombers flew over its airspace on their way to the Gulf – the fourth flyover in the past two months – in a sign of deterrence against Iran.
Also, in a show of military strength from Washington in the region, a US Navy nuclear submarine passed through the Strait of Hormuz late last month and entered the Gulf.
Washington had also sent the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which arrived in the Gulf in November.
In December, the head of US Central Command (Centcom) said Washington is “prepared to react” if Iran carries out an attack to mark one year since the killing of Soleimani.