Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin stated on 30 October that all layers of the country’s missile defences, including long-range Arrows and Patriots, the medium-range David’s Sling, and short-range Iron Dome, are “on alert”. According to the military official, this state of readiness is linked to general expectations that Iran could launch a massive attack against Israel.
According to the Times of Israel, the Israeli military believes Tehran may try to retaliate for Tel Aviv’s continual strikes against Iran’s alleged proxies in the region. Norkin stated that the Islamic Republic’s response might not only include regular missiles, but also cruise missiles and drones similar to those used in the attack against Saudi Aramco facilities in September, attributed by some countries to Iran.
“The challenge of air defence has become more complicated. Joining the threat of missiles and rockets are now attack drones and cruise missiles”, Norkin said.
The attack on the Saudi refineries, which crippled the nation’s crude output for weeks, was claimed by Yemeni Houthi fighters, but the US accused Iran of being behind the strike, while Riyadh reported finding debris of drones and missiles made in the Islamic Republic following the attack. Tehran denies any involvement.
In a recent statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Iran is developing new missiles capable of reaching any location in the Middle East. He further warned that Tehran is trying to deploy them in Yemen with the aim of attacking Israel, but provided no evidence to substantiate his claims.
Israel and Iran are longstanding rivals in the Middle East, with Tehran denying the Jewish state’s right to exist. The Israeli Air Force has reportedly conducted numerous air raids over the course of the last five years in nearby countries, particularly in Syria. On the rare occasions when Tel Aviv has admitted to carrying out such strikes, it has claimed that it was targeting alleged Iranian proxies that were purportedly seeking to attack Israel.