AP World Politics
Two Patriot missile batteries arrive from Germany
Mon Feb 10, 1:13 PM ET
JERUSALEM - Two Patriot missile batteries arrived in Israel Monday from Germany, as Israel gears up for a possible Iraqi missile strike if a U.S.-led coalition attacks.
The Patriot missiles are upgraded models of the type used unsuccessfully to try to bring down the 39 Scud missiles Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) fired at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, causing damage but few casualties.
The two batteries, which are part of the U.S. military arsenal in Europe, join several batteries deployed in Israel during recent U.S.-Israeli maneuvers.
Israel's main line of defense, however, is the Arrow missile system, a joint U.S.-Israeli project. Arrow missiles are designed to intercept incoming missiles at high altitudes, far away from their targets, as opposed to the shorter range, lower altitude Patriots.
Israeli officials have said that the probability of an Iraqi attack this time is low, but Israel is taking precautions, including urging citizens to renew their gas mask kits, first issued before the 1991 war, and distributing colorful pamphlets with instructions to civilians about how to prepare for a war.