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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Israel to attack Syrian and Lebanon?

The Assad regime holds weapons that belong to Hezbullah in Syria in order to protect them from Israeli attacks in Lebanon. The weapons are among the most advanced in Hezbullah's arsenal, and include SCUD-D missiles with a 700 km range that are capable of carrying non-conventional warheads.

Additionally, Syria has a supply of chemical weapons.

Hezbullah fears that its weapons will fall into the hands of the rebels, who are unlikely to be favorably disposed to delivering them to Hezbullah in light of Hezbullah's and Iran's roles in backing the Assad regime. Hezbullah wants to move those weapons to Lebanon, where it will control them.

Israel does not want Hezbullah to have control of those weapons. Additionally, it fears that a desperate Assad may use his chemical weapons to attack Israel in a bid to save his regime, especially in light of the fact that only 60% of Israelis currently have gas masks.

Is this a recipe for war?
The understanding until now has been that the missiles would only be transferred to Lebanon in the event of a war with Israel but not before as to prevent a potential Israeli military strike.

Now though, with Syria in the midst of an uprising, there is concern that Hezbollah might try to move the missiles into Lebanon to prevent them from being captured by rebels or other rogue elements.

If this happens and Israel becomes aware of the transfer, the government will have to decide if it should attack and intercept the transfer or ignore it to prevent such a strike from escalating into an all-out war with Hezbollah and Syria.

An Israeli strike in Syria could provide Assad with the opportunity to use Israel as a scapegoat and divert attention away from his violent crackdown, to Israeli violence.

On the other hand, the delivery of Scud D missiles to Hezbollah would be a significant increase to the organization’s capabilities. Syrian Scud Ds have a range of about 700 km. and can carry non-conventional warheads.

In the meantime, the Israel Air Force is in the process of receiving new Arrow missile interceptors that would be better equipped to intercept Scud missiles.

The upgraded interceptor is called “Block 4” and contains new software aimed at improving the system’s ability to defend against long-range ballistic missiles such as Iran’s Shahab and Sajil and Syria’s Scud D missiles.

The Arrow is Israel’s upper tier missile defense system, complemented by the Iron Dome for short-range rockets and the David’s Sling, which is under development and to be used against medium-range rockets and cruise missiles.

In the coming months, the Defense Ministry plans to hold its first interception test of the Arrow 3, a new higher-level system that will provide Israel with a number of chances to intercept incoming enemy missiles.

Israel’s concern also focuses on the possibility that Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons will fall into rogue hands.
Aren't you glad that the Obama administration is making no effort to control the situation in Syria? Aren't you glad that putz Ehud Olmert didn't attack Syria in 2006 when he had the opportunity?

What could go wrong?

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