Israeli media on Sunday claimed Iran was readying a missile attack against Israel as retaliation for an airstrike that killed Iranian personnel in Syria on April 9th.
Tensions between the two countries have been high since February – when an armed Iranian drone was spotted in northern Israel.
Israel is “prepared for every scenario,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “We don’t want confrontation, but if there needs to be one, it is better now than later.” Netanyahu also claimed the IRGC had transferred “advanced weaponry” into Syria “in order to attack us both on the battlefield and the home front.”
Israel believes Tehran is preparing a retaliatory strike but does not want to cause a war. The attack will almost certainly target military locations in northern Israel. These sites, which Hezbollah has attempted to attack in the past, are more than equipped to deal with a missile attack from Iran’s proxies in Syria.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has promised to respond to any attack on Israeli soil by hitting all Iranian targets in Syria, and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz warned that an attack against Israel would mean the end of Assad and his regime.
“If Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military vanguard against us, to attack us from Syrian territory, he should know that would be the end of him, the end of his regime,” Steinitz told reporters on Monday.
As noted by Haaretz, “The decision to publish this information in the media is presumably meant to deter Iran and Hezbollah from carrying out their plans.”
The key factor with this is whether Israel can prove the attack is from Iran. If Syria is involved, then Russian President Vladimir Putin is involved, and he will be much more careful about attacking a US ally.
An Iranian attack on Israel could also cause friction between Tehran and the Assad regime, which opposes any activity that could undermine stability in Syria.
“Whoever is interested in Assad’s survival should to the honor of telling Assad to prevent attacks on Israel,” said Steinitz.
Netanyahu has plans to visit Moscow on Wednesday in order to speak with Putin about the situation, but media exposure could be enough to stop or at least postpone the attack.