Israel aims for Middle East with new ‘precision rocket’
Planned rocket system aimed at 'diversification' of Israeli military, which for years has carried out air strikes in neighboring Syria
Israel has commissioned a “new precision rocket” system capable of reaching every point in the Middle East, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has announced.
The new system will allow the Israeli military “to cover, within a few years, every point in the region,” Lieberman said on Monday, in a statement quoted by AFP.
The purchase from state-owned Israel Military Industries will be in the hundreds of millions of Shekels (3.63 to the US dollar), he said via his official Twitter account.
“We are making the IDF [Israel Defense Force] stronger, more diversified, and sophisticated,” he added.
Israel is understood to be the sole nuclear power in the Middle East. Its military is considered the most advanced in the region.
But over the past six years, Israeli military officials have watched developments in neighboring Syria with concern, as Iranian proxy Hezbollah gained crucial battlefield experience.
The Israeli air force has carried out periodic strikes in Syria over the course of the civil war, typically targeting Hezbollah arms shipments or what it has labeled as Iranian military infrastructure.
The new rocket system could offer an alternative to those sorties.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in an August 14 speech marking the end of Israel’s 2006 war against Lebanon, boasted that his forces now surpass the Israeli army as the strongest in the region.