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Israel Deploys 'Iron Dome' Missile Defense in Tel Aviv Ahead of Potential Syria Strike

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An Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. Israel ordered a special call-up of reserve troops Wednesday as nervous citizens lined up at gas-mask distribution centers, preparing for possible hostilities with Syria. (AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has deployed an "Iron Dome" missile defense battery in the Tel Aviv area.

With the U.S. threatening to attack Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, Israel fears Damascus may respond by firing missiles at Israel, a close American ally. Israeli officials have sought to distance themselves from Syria's standoff with the West and believe the chances of a Syrian strike remain slim.

Iron Dome An Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. Israel ordered a special call-up of reserve troops Wednesday as nervous citizens lined up at gas-mask distribution centers, preparing for possible hostilities with Syria. (AP)

But the country has prepared itself nonetheless. It has called up reservists and deployed missile defense batteries in the northern part of the country. The military said Saturday the deployment has now extended to the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Large crowds have also gathered at gas-mask distribution centers across the country, waiting in long lines for protection kits.

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