Lebanese media reported Saturday that the IDF has mobilized a large number of troops along the Israel-Lebanon border, ahead of a likely US attack on Syria following the alleged use of chemical weapons by regime forces last week.
According to the reports, which were not confirmed by the IDF, Israeli soldiers were deployed in areas bordering the eastern areas of south Lebanon, namely the Upper Galilee, the Shebaa Farms and the Golan Heights.
Meanwhile Saturday, the Lebanese army arrested two people in connection with rockets fired from Tyre, in southern Lebanon, into Israeli territory last week.
The two suspects confessed to involvement in the rocket attack.
Lebanese news site the Daily Star also reported that Israeli Air Force jets have been flying continuously over southern Lebanon since Thursday.
According to the news site, Lebanon has filed several complaints with the UN regarding Israeli airspace violations.
On Thursday, Lebanese terror group Hezbollah was reported to be mobilizing its forces in southern Lebanon in preparation for a possible US-led strike on Syria, and was said to be considering various retaliatory options against Israel should such an attack take place.
The top leadership of the Shiite terror group, which is closely aligned with the Bashar Assad government in Syria, was holding intensive discussions about the possible consequences of an attack on Syria and the appropriate response against Israel, Channel 10 reported, citing reports in the Lebanese media.
On Friday, the IDF deployed several additional Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the Dan region around Tel Aviv and in the north, as part of the army’s continued preparations for the possibility of conflict with Syria.
The deployment was accompanied by the stationing of longer-range Patriot anti-missile batteries in the north and center of the country. The air force has also raised the readiness level of its Arrow 2 batteries, which are tasked with intercepting long-range missiles from deep inside Syria or Iran.
Even as preparations for possible war continue, Israeli officials stressed that any escalation in Syria is unlikely to involve Israel.
“There is no need to change our routine at this time,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a YouTube video released Thursday (Hebrew link) of him speaking at the start of a meeting with defense officials at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. “Israel is prepared,” he said.
“Despite the low probability that Israel will become involved in what is happening in Syria, we decided to deploy the Iron Dome batteries and other interception systems” as a precaution, he added.
Netanyahu, who met with security chiefs in Tel Aviv late into Thursday, added: “We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But let me reiterate, if someone tries to harm Israel’s citizens, the IDF will respond with immense power.”