Israel on 'full alert' as it prepares for Iran retaliation over Syria strike

Israel on 'full alert' as it prepares for Iran retaliation over Syria strike
Israel's military is on full alert as it anticipates a potential retaliatory strike from Iran, following its strike on an Iranian compound in Syria.
3 min read
04 April, 2024
Israel is shoring up its missile and air defence systems in anticipation of an Iranian strike [Getty]

Israel has placed its military on "full alert" and called up reservists, in anticipation of a potential Iranian response over a suspected Israeli strike that killed key Iranian military officials in Syria earlier this week.

Israel's military has cancelled leave for all combat units nationwide and increased the drafting of reservists to enhance aerial defences amid fears of Iran firing barrages of missiles and drones into Israel.

It follows calls for revenge by leading officials in Tehran - including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei - after the killing of two of its generals and five military advisers in an airstrike on a Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus on Monday, widely believed to have been carried out by Israel.

"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 Israeli military said in a statement.

On Thursday, residents of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem reported GPS service disruptions, seemingly as a precaution against guided missile attacks by Iranian militias active in Syria and Iraq.

Although its forces are on 'full alert,' Israel remains uncertain about how Iran might retaliate. It has been speculated that Iran could ramp up attacks on Israel from its proxy forces and allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Others have suggested soft targets, such as Israeli diplomatic missions abroad, could be in Iran's crosshairs.

Iranian proxies in the region have also been used to target Israel since the war in Gaza began, but there are fears that if the response comes from Iranian territory itself this could involve the use of sophisticated weaponry such as cruise missiles.

"I won't be surprised if Iran fires directly at Israel," former Israeli Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin told Israel’s Channel 12, claiming that a January missile strike carried out by Iran on neighbouring Pakistan set a precedent for such action.

On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei vowed that Israel "will receive a slap" in response to its attack on the Iranian compound in Damascus.

"Its despicable attempts, like what happened in Syria, will not save it from failure," he added.

On Thursday, an anti-tank missile hit a home in northern Israel with airstrikes on southern Lebanon shortly after.

Israel's military intelligence chief warned of "complex days ahead" as the country waits for a response from Iran.