- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 8, 2013

Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defense system near Jerusalem on Sunday, reportedly as part of a routine exercise as Congress returns to Washington to mull a military strike against Syria.

An Israeli military spokeswoman would not comment on the Iron Dome deployment, saying only that “defense systems are deployed in accordance with situation assessments,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “an island of tranquillity, quiet and security” amidst “the storm raging around us,” AFP said.

Congress is set to begin a full debate this week on whether to approve President Obama’s plans for a limited military strike against Syria. Some fear that a Western attack on the war-torn country could result in retaliation against neighboring Israel, and Mr. Netanyahu explicitly has said the country would “respond with force” if such occurred.

The Iranian army chief of staff, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, said last month, “Any military action against Syria will drive the Zionists to the edge of fire,” AFP reported.

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