Israel and Iran Prepare for Conflict

It didn’t take long, once U.S. President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, for Israel and Iran to move around their military assets. The Israel Defense Forces reported irregular Iranian troop movements inside Syria shortly after the announcement. Anti-missile systems are being deployed in northern Israel, and regional governments in the Golan are being instructed to ready bomb shelters for residents. According to an IDF statement, the army is at a high state of readiness for potential attack. An IDF spokesperson told Reuters that Israel was mobilizing some reservist forces but was unclear about the numbers being called up. Reshet 13 reported Israeli Air Force activity over the Syrian Golan Heights, and there are unconfirmed reports of an IAF attack on Iranian missile stores in Syria.

The heightened posture may just be precautionary. Still, calling up reserves is a major tripwire, indicating Israel may be readying itself for more than just airstrikes. According to Israeli intelligence reports released to open-source outlets, Hezbollah has about 150,000 rockets and missiles, thousands of which can reach Tel Aviv, and the Israeli defense establishment has made no secret that it considers Hezbollah its biggest and most imminent threat. Israel would have to go in on the ground to eliminate Hezbollah if it fires on Israel. (Israel has recent unrest in the Gaza Strip to worry about as well.)

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