The China Times

Israeli military on alert amid possible U.S. strike on Syria

September 1, 2013

The Israeli military remains on high alert Sunday amid a possible U.S. strike against Syria which may result in the Arab country firing at Israel.

“Israel is calm and confident,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, addressing the possibility of an attack against Israel at a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.

“The citizens of Israel are fully aware that we are ready for any possible scenario” and they “should also be aware that our enemies have very good reasons not to test our force,” Netanyahu added.

The remarks came after U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday tried to seek a congressional approval for the strike.

Last week, the Israeli security cabinet authorized a draft of hundreds of military reservists to the air-defense units and the northern command amid the mounting tensions. In addition, the military deployed anti-missile and anti-aircraft batteries in Tel Aviv and northern Israel.

However, some defense officials deem the possibility of Israel being hit by Syria as very slim, though they too stressed the military is ready for any scenario.

On a related note, the Ha’aretz daily reported on Sunday that an expected 830-million-U.S.-dollar cut in the defense budget is now in question following the mounting tensions

The planned cut is a part of austerity measures of the 2013-14 budget, which aims to curb a burgeoning deficit of nearly 11 billion U.S. dollars.

Political sources told the daily that, amid the high tensions, the cuts will either be “scaled back” or not happen at all.

Xinhua

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