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Russia issues warning to Israel

PM Netanyahu told CNN he was “looking into” sending the Iron Dome to Kiev, prompting a reaction from Moscow

From Russia Today (RT) – Anyone so much as speculating about sending weapons to Ukraine is escalating the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview to CNN on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he did not rule out the possibility of sending Iron Dome missile defense systems to Kiev – something his predecessor rejected outright.

“All countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russian armed forces,” Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

“Any attempts – implemented or even unrealized but announced, for the supply of additional, new or some other weapons – have led and will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this,” she added.

Zakharova was responding to claims by multiple media outlets that Netanyahu was “certainly looking into” the possibility of dispatching Iron Dome systems to Ukraine. The quote does not appear in CNN’s writeup of the interview, or the two video segments posted online, however.

Netanyahu, who recently returned as prime minister after 18 months out of power, sat down for an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. The network did quote him on the possibility of mediating the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, and the cryptic answer about the recent drone attack on Iranian military industry.

“I never talk about specific operations … and every time some explosion takes place in the Middle East, Israel is blamed or given responsibility – sometimes we are, sometimes we’re not,” Netanyahu told Tapper.

Tehran has unofficially blamed Tel Aviv – and Kiev – for the attack on Isfahan over the weekend. While the top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky cheered the attack, the foreign ministry in Kiev claimed ignorance of it.

Iron Dome is a short-range system Israel has used against rockets launched by Hezbollah and Hamas. The previous government rejected Ukraine’s demand to send them over last October. Defense Minister Benny Gantz explained in November that Israel doesn’t have “a large enough production base” to satisfy Ukraine’s needs, while a senior military adviser said the country was loath to antagonize Russia, which has a large military presence in neighboring Syria.

Israel’s hypothetical change of course might have something to do with the US, which funds the Iron Dome to the tune of $1 billion a year. Washington recently announced it would raid the stockpile of artillery ammunition intended for Israel in order to supply Ukraine instead, which Netanyahu told CNN he was perfectly fine with.

Israel Considering Sending Iron Dome Air Defense System To Ukraine – Netanyahu added that his country is also helping Ukraine by preventing the production of weapons in Iran. ‘I will not go into details, but Israel is acting in a certain way against Iran’s production of weapons that are used against Ukraine,’ he said.

What is the Iron Dome?

It was built and maintained with U.S. funding. 

The Iron Dome was built and has been maintained with billions of dollars in funding from the United States. It was first approved in 2007, and shot down its first missiles in 2011. Each Iron Dome interceptor costs an estimated $40,000, and in prolonged conflicts with Hamas, Israel uses it hundreds of times. As of 2018, the U.S. spent more than $6 billion on missile defense aid to Israel, which covers Iron Dome and other, similar systems.

The Iron Dome, a missile defense system introduced in Israel a decade ago that has fundamentally changed how its wars are fought. The Iron Dome is a radar-guided tool that allows Israel to pinpoint and intercept missiles headed for its civilian areas.

Iron Dome uses radars to stop incoming missiles. 

On the ground, the Iron Dome looks like a set of beige columns arranged in a box, tilted onto their side and placed on wheels.

But the technology that makes it so valuable is a radar that is able to pick bombs out of the sky. The Iron Dome’s radar  techology, manufactured in the United States, works in four steps. First, it identifies projectiles in the sky. Then, it determines whether the projectile is a bird, an airplane or a bomb. Then comes the most crucial part: It determines the arc of the missile, which allows it to find both the target and the missile launcher. Then, if the missile is headed toward a populated area, the system directs its own bomb to intercept the missile and explode it before it lands.


Tehran Warns Any US Military Action Against Iran Will Be Declaration of War

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Iranian Permanent Mission to the UN warned on Tuesday, after the recent drone attack in the province of Isfahan, allegedly carried out by Israel, that Tehran would consider any military action by the US against Iran as a declaration of war which would be met with retaliatory measures.

“In Iran’s perspective, the use of the military option at any level means U.S. entry into the war. For now Iran considers such a possibility to be weak,” the mission told US news magazine.

Tehran also said that if the US “miscalculates and starts a war,” then Washington would be responsible for the consequences of such a conflict “for the region and the world,” the news outlet reported. In such a case, Iran will be capable of ensuring its own security and defending the country’s interests, the magazine cited the mission as saying.

Washington has so far denied any involvement in the recent attack on Iran, the media outlet reported.