IDF Deploys Iron Dome Missile Defense System to Eilat to Combat Terrorist Threat
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system on Wednesday in Eilat, the country’s southernmost city, according to Israeli media reports.
The decision was taken to attempt to give cover to twin threats; the presence of terrorist cells located in the Egyptian Sinai, and also because of Iranian-backed Houthi militias located in Yemen.
The latter could be used by Iran as a base for launching missiles towards the seaside resort, in order to avenge the assassination of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, assassinated at the end of November in Iran, but also to avenge the targeted killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in an American drone strike at Baghdad airport last year.
Intelligence and defense commentators assessed that last week’s Houthi attack on Aden airport — which killed as many as 26 people — and coincided with the arrival of an aircraft carrying Yemen’s prime minister and a Saudi Arabian envoy, may have been a dry-run for a future attack on an Israeli target.
The report comes as a high-ranking Iranian commander threatened last Saturday to target US military bases in the Middle East, as well as the city of Tel Aviv, “within reach of Tehran,” to avenge the death of Soleimani.
“The Strait of Hormuz is a pivotal point for the West and a large number of US warships pass through it. … US targets in the region have been identified by Iran for a long time,” said Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, commander of the IRGC, according to statements reported by Reuters.
Reports from Iran last week suggested that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei had given the green light to Tehran-backed terrorist groups to attack Israel, threatening to “level Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
However, the leader of Iran’s Lebanese Shi’ite proxy Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a speech that Iran did not need to rely on proxies and could attack independently and at a time of its own choosing.