The Syrian military command said in a statement that Israeli warplanes had carried out an airstrike inside its territory on Wednesday, hitting a military research facility in the Damascus suburbs. The military’s statement, carried by state television, said an unidentified number of Israeli jets flying below radar had hit the research facility, killing two people and causing “huge material damage.” (The New York Times, 30 January)
“Israeli warplanes violated our airspace at dawn, bombing directly one of the research scientific centers in the Jimraya district in rural Damascus,” the Syrian statement said, calling it a “breach of Syrian sovereignty.”
The Syrian military statement identified the research center as a defense and resistance site in the outskirts of Damascus (top photo).
Israel’s Ynetnews reports that Jamraya area contains many military facilities as well as what is likely a chemical weapons production and storage site. The area also houses training camps for Hezbollah combatants who are learning to operate advanced Russian weapons systems.
Earlier today, the Israelis targeted a truck convoy inside Syria that was reportedly carrying sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles (above photo).
Amnon Sofrin, a retired brigadier general and former Israeli intelligence officer, told reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday that Hezbollah, which is known to have been storing some of its more advanced weapons in Syria, was now eager to remove everything it could to Lebanon. He said Israel was carefully watching for convoys transferring weapons systems from Syria to Lebanon. (NYT, 30 January)
Top: Area of Israeli attack on Syrian military research center (Ynetnews)
Bottom: SA-17 missiles (Ynetnews)
Top: Area of Israeli attack on Syrian military research center (Ynetnews)
Bottom: SA-17 missiles (Ynetnews)
one has to laugh at Assad's lackeys trying their best NOT to identify whatever and whomever it was that was bombed, and employing a phrase as empty as " a defense and resistance site".
soon they'll be scattered like roaches as the Assads skitter into exile and their thugs and lackeys try to pretend that they were something other than what they are.
for those of you pretending that no one will dare to attack the Iranian theocrat's military and paramilitary....look and think again
An what are they going to do about that exactly ? nothing, just like in every such occurrences of "breach of sovereignty" as they call it. And that's why such acts are going to keep going perpetually until somebody grows balls. Beyond killing its own people, that is.
As Syria rejects ending its declared war against Israel .....what do you think that the Assad thugs CAN do?
do you think that they have the ability to order offensive action against Israel?
the last time Syria tried a military attack, it was another failure, and at the end there was no Syrian forces at all between the Israel army and air force and Damascus.
the situation is little different now
Well in the case of Syria, these kinds of threats followed by actual attacks have been plenty since the 80s, an equation that has never changed til now, as we can see. The thing is, the same has been going on towards Iran on an even greater pace in the talk arena, and still nothing happened despite Iran being bolder and bolder in its postures, declarations and actions, so there is still room for doubt... distance alone is a factor preventing the IDF from making such daring moves... Syria is at their doorstep after all, so was Saddam's Iraq, hence the 1982 attack. Iran and Syria are not in the same league, another ballpark altogether. They can't just send a couple of planes 1500kms away to strike some specific target and head back home. An operation would be big, or there will be no operations at all. Iran = years of threats, ZERO actions. Syria = an ongoing series of threats AND follow-on strikes. There is a first time to everything though, and the day Iran gets struck as well might suddenly become another story for the whole region...
That was what I was implicitly saying. They are in no position to conduct any kind of credible offensive against Israel, would it be for political, military or financial reasons, let alone the current, dire situation that's eating everything alive in the country. The status quo on the Golan is a living proof, a daily reminder of that fact. But get your facts right, last time they went to war, they actually held the Golan spectacularly long despite having far less equipment and soldiers on the ground, a widely documented facts from Western sources as well as Arab , Russian and Israeli. And after retaking the heights, Moshe Dayan did his utmost to avenge its broken pride and glory he inherited from '67, and march on Damascus once and for all, but its forces were blocked far away from the suburbs, and totally unable to penetrate even the external layers of a joint Iraqi-Syrian umbrella to protect the borders. But what's the use of saying all that anyway, we're not in 1973 anymore, back then Israel on the other hand was many folds its current size, Egypt didn't have its peace treaty yet, and the world was completely different on a global scale, and so what ?
Pathetic Assad has always been in a "no war, no peace" policy towards Israel because he is so illegitimate as a leader that he cannot effort any of the outcomes. He goes to war, he loses. He makes peace without taking the Golan back, he loses. As you said, a thug.
"As Syria rejects ending its declared war against Israel" ==> and as Israel rejects giving back what belongs to Syria as well. Don't forget that in a war, there two players. And "the last time Syria tried a military attack" was to take back its own territory, and technically you hardly cannot attack what is yours. Lebannon took back most of its lands through a 18 year long guerilla campaign. Egypt got part of the Suez Canal and surroudings through a mutually-devastating war with Israel. Syria tried and got nothing. You cannot blame any government retaining its status as being at war under such conditions, can you ?
Unfortunately, Iranian Theocratic military and paramilitary welcomes such attacks as it only will strengthen it...The fact is Israel will not be able to change the regime but only to feed it the hate that keeps it going.
+1 to AnonymousJanuary 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM... let's hope we won't ever get to that.
Lets see where the Islamic regime "red line" starts from.
Israel is the source of all evil in the world
the mother of all war.
This fake state must be wipped of the map
I can't believe the mighty Iranian war machine has not wiped Israel off the face of the earth yet???
Iran's nuke facilities will also be destroyed...that day will show up sooner than most think, thanks to the help of the bravest Iranians of ALL.
the last Egyptian war against Israel was not at "mutually-devastating" Egypt had an initial success via surprise attack, but then got beaten quite badly.
the victory for Egypt was that initial success and the fact that the Egyptian troops didn't this time perform disgracefully and actually fought rather than dropping arms and running away.
and your drool is the source of Earth's oceans...maybe you should swallow more salty liquid rather than wetting so much.
Anon 7:35 PM
["Lets see where the Islamic regime "red line" starts from']
This has been a central question for some time and suggests two possible outcomes:
1. Red Line- Tehran says enough and uses (by then) massive sanctions regime as justification, condemning sanctions as an official act of war, and shuts down talks, goes dark which then Israel views as "break out"
2. My vote wag: Tehran offers 20% as negotiation point of demarcation... in return, all "intrusive" activity ends and sanctions are terminated, however, Tehran continues under new negotiated "freedom from intrusion" to advance undeclared enrichment programs/alternate sites... and many in US would take a deal on 20% knowing that Tehran will continue on toward the bomb- but these folks (largely on Left) do not care... for them intervention is simply too much. I submit however that Tehran will not be droned into submission, Israel knows this, as do responsible and capable "extra-political" elements within US-
... or Tehran sits down quietly and behaves... not likely
Zionist aim is the expansion of the Syria conflict and now one will have wait and see where all this ends. The region is in for a major disaster. This is just the opening phase of major war of attrition and a good chance that it will engulf the whole region, including Iran and the Persian Gulf petro-pimpdoms. US economy is already declining and major disruption to oil supplies will only increase the US collapse. Things will only get worse for all.
total barbaric act by israel.
The big question is whether it's intentional or unintentional on Israel's part that these IDF/AF strikes have the effect-however limited-of rallying neutral or supporting element among the populace behind Assad and the Syrian military in the face of perceived Israeli aggression?
Quite a gift to the regime.
heh, heh, heh, gunsel.
there IS no more support for Assad that's possible from inside Syria. you're silly to imagine it.
any further support can only come from Lebanese Hezbollah going "all in" and shedding their pretense of existing to serve Lebanese interests.
the reason that the Israelis are free to bomb the Assad goons and their Hezzie associates is because the Assad regime no longer rules Syria nor commands any shred of legitimacy....except among toadies of the theocracy.
That's not entirely true, i would even say that's the biggest myth of the 73 war not recognized by the military community and still a matter of controversy today. Both armies were hurt pretty badly, so true that the US performed its biggest aerial lift to save Israel from total defeat in the first phase of the war. Golda Meir didn't hide her order to deploy a dozen nuclear warheads to show the US how far they were willing to go and hence force them to get involved they way they did. Egyptians only suffered most losses of their own after that and had to ask help from the Soviets who had to help the Syrian at the same time. At the very end of the conflict Sadat was about to send a big chunk of its surrounding forces to crush the wedge that was opened between its 2nd and 3rd army, and most experts considered both at the time and today, that considering the 3rd army was at 90% of its strength and crushed numerous attempts by the IDF to overcome it before the ceasefire, notably in Suez and Ismailia, if it wasn't for Kissinger openly telling Sadat that the US would get directly involved in the war if his forces killed whatever was standing between the two armies, the situation could well have evolved quite differently, and Sadat's choice was clear : either accept a ceasefire and get its lands back through negotiations, or expect things to get catastrophic for all. They told the Soviets they were at Defcon 2, everybody was quite nervous, to say the least. I suggest you read that : http://www.amazon.com/Yom-Kippur-War-Airlift-Strike/dp/0312320426. The US even provided SR-71 overflights for Israel in order to give them critical reconnaissance info to allow them to change the tide of the battle in their favor. Israel blatantly violated the initial ceasefire while Egyptian forces mostly respected it, the is a known fact. And I'm sorry, Kissinger himself was astonished and asked how it was possible for Arabs to kill 400 IDF tanks and more than half its Air-force in the opening days of the conflict, Israeli pilots were stretched so thin that they barely got any sleep, there are even photos of them in terrible postures, sleeping 2 hours a day with they flight gear on, so don't tell me it wasn't "mutually devastating", the term was fit. I'm not going to re-demonstrate history, books, open-source reports and documentation is everywhere for you to see. And this is totally off-topic.
PATHETIC AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM
This is the problem with syria!.THEY depend too muc on Russia in its defence mechnaism and everyone knows that any RUSSIAN air defence system THAT SYRIA BOASTS has an antidote in Israel!. SO TWO THINGS COME UP OVER THIS RAID-
@Syria must enter a defense and military pact with IRAN!IRAN defense tools are superior and unique.THE so called 'high tech 'Russian tools are only high tech to the middle east Arabs !but NATO and the USA in particular would not allow an arms transfer FROM RUSSIA THE WILL BE THREATEN THE SECURITY OF ISRAEL!.
@-THIS hostile more by Israel will definitely prove counter productive !this move has the potential to rally the NATION behind their leader and stir Arab anger in the region !.
BBW---- you're opinions are pathetic and your claims that " IRAN defense tools are superior and unique." are delusional untruthful and not all that sane.
perhaps you should be given one of those plastic keys made in Taiwan that Iran gave to the other little children to defend them against harm from land mines.
YOU are trapped in the past,LIVE IN THE PAST AND theoretically refuse to catch up with the real situation in Iran
Not downing the intruding aircraft was most probably a political decision by Assad, which is now less than ever in a posture to open a potential front with Israel, while Netanyahu has every reason to try and go for it. It's a dangerous game, but for now it won't have real strategic consequences. Many experts now doubts the real nature of what was hit in there, since a 2-people causality and no collateral damage for a chemical weapons research center seems incredibly low. Furthermore, it was in the vicinity of the capital (or rather its suburbs) there is no way on earth that these 4 planes or so weren't detected by multiple sensors and air-defense elements on the ground, or their ordnance detected by Panstyrs. The lack of specialized anti-cruise and anti-PGM Tor-M1s would be one explanation, but it stops short of explaining why nobody took on the F-16s themselves, while they were so swift to react to a Turkish last-generation F-4 specially designed for electronic warfare. Lots of things don't add up here. Plus, it is a known fact that Hezbollah already has a lot of air-defense assets, ranging from SA-7s (and not SA-17s) to Iranian-made and supplied MANPADS. A couple of SA-17 aka "Buk" batteries would be nothing for the IDF to target in a small-scale SEADS mission before the batteries are even turned on, since they allow themselves to regularly conduct air operations over Lebanese territory. Why then,the need to target a convoy while its still on the Syrian side of the border ? why wasn't it the case for countless proven shipments of Fateh-110s which prove to be the most pressing tactical and strategic concern of the IDF, and a serious reason of their reluctance to intervene again on the territory ? even if confirmed (which it is not so yet) that adds to the assumption of a voluntary risk the Israelis took to enter into a wider conflict with Syria. Mr. Uskowi, what would be your opinion on this, since i have no clue further than what i say here... I'm an avid follower of your blog, and the author of several of the most recent entries on your various posts (maybe you can check that based on my IP, i always post from the same spot which is my home), specially on everything regarding military balance in general.
Thank you so much for your kind words and sharp analysis. I am also not a Syrian specialist and cannot answer the important questions you have brought up. I will try to research the answers and post them if and when I have them.
With your considerable interest on the topics discussed in this blog, it would be wonderful if you write article as a guest blogger for us on those topics. If you choose to do so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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