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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Did the IAF hit missiles being hidden in Homs? (With video)

The New York Times reported on Thursday that at least some of the Russian Yakhont missiles that Syria was hiding in Latakia were not in the warehouses when Israel allegedly struck them on July 5. This is from the first link.
While the warehouse was destroyed, American intelligence analysts have now concluded that at least some of the Yakhont missiles had been removed from their launchers and moved from the warehouse before the attack.
The officials who described the new assessment declined to be identified because they were discussing classified information. 
After the Israeli attack, the Assad government sought to hide the fact that the missiles had been missed by setting fire to launchers and vehicles at the site to create the impression of a devastating blow, according to American intelligence reports.
The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment. Israel has a longstanding policy of silence on pre-emptive military strikes.
Another factor that could lead to a military response by Israel is the continuing flow of weapons to the Assad government, some of which Israel fears may make its way to Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.
The Times also provided new information about the July 5 strike. 
The July 5 attack near Latakia was the fourth known Israeli airstrike in Syria this year.
Providing new details, American officials said that it had been carried out by Israeli aircraft that flew over the eastern Mediterranean, fired air-to-ground missiles and never entered Syrian airspace. The route of the Israeli aircraft led to some erroneous reports that the attack had been carried out by an Israeli submarine.
About an hour and a half ago, there was a huge explosion in Homs, in central Syria, which was much larger than usual explosions there. 40 people were killed and 160 wounded.
Activists said the explosion, which appeared to be significantly larger than most bombs used daily by either side in the two-year-old Syrian conflict, ripped through the southeastern neighborhood of al-Nozha.
The neighborhood is majority Alawite, the same sect as President Bashar Assad. Sunni Muslim insurgents have targeted Alawite areas, especially military positions, around the country with bombs and mortars.
 Let's go to the videotape.

Note that there were two large explosions - the first looked like a mushroom cloud and happened before the video started, while the second one was smaller and off to the right around the 0:19 mark.

Typically, when weapons are hit, you see a lot of secondary explosions. I didn't see any here, but then the video seems to be shot from an upper story of a building and not from way overhead like the IAF shoots videos.

The distance from Latakia to Homs is 176.9 kilometers.

I don't think the IAF did it this time. But whoever did it had an awful lot of explosives or hit a huge weapons depot, which probably belonged to Assad loyalists.


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