As the US considers the possibility of a military response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, Israel is on high alert.
Some observers say that if the US uses aircraft or cruise missiles to hit Syrian army installations, the regime may retaliate by attacking targets in Israel.
On Sunday, Washington indicated that it is considering a military strike to stop mass killings in Syria.
Israel, it is safe to assume, is quietly making preparations to ensure it is ready for potential retaliation.
A US military response would challenge the axis that stands behind Syria. It is made up of Iran (which is claimed to have sent weapons and military advisers to Syria) and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror organisation, which has reportedly sent thousands of highly trained, heavily armed fighters to help Syria.
Attempts to lash out at Israel could include Syrian ballistic missile attacks, rocket attacks from Hezbollah from Lebanon or in Syria, or terrorist attacks on overseas Israeli targets by global Hezbollah or Iranian “branches”.
Despite the threats, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran all know that any provocation of Israel could backfire badly against them.
This is where the Israeli air force (IAF) enters the picture. There is no doubt that if Syria retaliates against Israel, the closest ally of the US in the region, the reaction will be swift and forceful.
Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, the IAF has been on the highest state of alert. The squadrons in northern bases have a 24/7 presence in the air by a multitude of means.
This is in addition to a very extensive effort to obtain indications about the moves of the Syrian armed forces.