Iron Dome batteries deployed in northern Israel

2013-01-27 23:21:02 GMT2013-01-28 07:21:02(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Israel has recently deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries in its northern part, an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed Sunday.

The batteries were placed in various cities up north, including the city of Haifa and some areas which have suffered barrages of missiles from Lebanon during the 2006 war.

The deployment was made amid the escalating fighting in neighboring Syria. However, the IDF spokesman claimed that the action was planned well in advance, denying that there was a connection with the latest regional events.

Lebanese newspaper Al Mustaqbal reported Saturday that the Israeli Air Force was involved in an explosion in one of Hezbollah 's arsenals in southern Lebanon recently.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday expressed growing concerns that the chemical weapons in Syria will end up at the hands of extremist militants.

"Syria is increasingly cracking, and we must be prepared, strong and determined against any possible threat," Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting.

In November, missile defense system Iron Dome protected Israeli communities from rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip in the operation "Pillar of Defense."

Last week, the Israeli Air Force conducted a successful test of an upgraded Iron Dome rocket system.

"The upgraded system is more accurate and has a wider range, enabling it to more efficiently intercept rockets, including 'Fajr ' long-distance rockets," the defense ministry said in a statement following the test, adding that "IDF is also developing methods to deploy Iron Dome against additional threats to Israel."

Editor: Yu Runze
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