Israel reportedly launches strike on Syria as tensions rise

By:  @kavika, one week ago
Comments: 19 ..


Israel reportedly launches strike on Syria as tensions rise

5 / 29

Joshua Mitnick1 hr ago


This Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 photo shows an Israeli Air Force F-15 plane in flight during a graduation ceremony for new pilots in the Hatzerim air force base near the city of Beersheba, Israel.© AP Photo/Ariel Schalit This Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 photo shows an Israeli Air Force F-15 plane in flight during a graduation ceremony for new pilots in the Hatzerim air force base near the city of Beersheba… TEL AVIV, Israel — An Israeli aircraft reportedly launched a strike into Syria on Sunday that left one person dead, in what appeared to be the second cross-border attack in three days as tensions between the neighbors escalated over the weekend.

The Israeli attack was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that the strike targeted a car traveling on a road between Damascus and Quneitra, a town in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel. An Israeli army spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The Lebanese news service Al Mayadeen said the attack killed Yasser Hussein Asayeed, whom it described as a member of a militia aligned with the Syrian government. It said he was based in Golan.

Just two days earlier, Syrian forces shot several several surface-to-air missiles at Israeli jets that were carrying out an attack in Syria against what Israel said was a weapons shipment bound for the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

Israel fired its Arrow interceptor missile to knock down one of the surface-to-air rockets headed for its territory, forcing the nation's army to issue a rare confirmation that it had carried out an attack inside Syria. It marked the first time Israel had used the Arrow missile, which has been jointly developed with the U.S. over years to defend against long-range missiles from Iran.

After the incident, Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to Moscow to protest the attack. Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, vowed to continue to carry out attacks in Syria against weapons shipments that it believes to be bound for Hezbollah.

On Sunday morning, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the incident with a saber-rattling warning. "The next time that the Syrian air defenses fire at us, we will destroy them completely without thinking twice," he said in an interview with Israel Radio.

The heightened tension highlights how Russia's assistance to Assad has raised the stakes along the border with Israel. For most of the Syrian civil war, Israel has watched from the sidelines, except for occasional strikes against Hezbollah weapons shipments that it says could be strategic game changers in the balance of power. Those attacks haven't been challenged by Syria, for the most part.

Since Russia's entry into the war, Israel and Moscow have come up with an understanding mechanism to avoid clashes between their militaries.

But as the fighting tips in the Assad government's favor, Israeli officials have expressed concern that Iran and Hezbollah may gain a permanent foothold in Syria and possibly establish a presence along the border in the Golan Heights. This month, Netanyahu traveled to Moscow to try to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran shouldn't be strengthened by the war.

Putin is unlikely to be persuaded by Israel's entreaties to rein in one of his allies, said Eyal Zisser, a professor of political science at Tel Aviv University. The attacks over the weekend highlight the question of whether Moscow will continue to tolerate Israeli forays into Syria against its Shiite allies, he said.

"We need to ask: Will Russia accept the continuation of Israeli activity in Syria, or will it decide to put an end to it?" he said.




link 03/19/17 10:07:24PM @kavika:

''"We need to ask: Will Russia accept the continuation of Israeli activity in Syria, or will it decide to put an end to it?" he said.''

The question of the day.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link 03/19/17 10:19:55PM @perrie-halpern:

Russia might try to stop them... doesn't mean it will stop them.

link 03/19/17 11:20:40PM @krishna:

the Syrian Civil war has been going on for several years. In that time, israel has launched only a small number of attacks-- pinpoint strikes on weapons being sent to Hezb'Allah. They may not do another one for a while.

I'm sure they are trying to avoid a military confrontation between themselves and Israel-- they really would have nothing to gain. Well, as long a Israeli strikes are relatively infrequent. 

In terms of technical prowess-- well, Russian pilots have actually gone up against Israelis:

On April 18, 1970 two Israeli Air Force F-4 Phantoms were on a reconnaissance mission deep in Egyptian territory. The two jets belonged to the IAF 69th squadron (The Hammers). While crossing the border back to Israeli occupied Sinai Peninsula, members of "Masrega" the Russian language intelligence unit realized that they are listening to Russian Mig-21 pilots that were chasing the two Israeli Phantoms. The news was a shock to the Israeli military and political leadership. This was the first time that the Soviet Union not only advices but sends its soldiers and pilots to fight for Egypt.

The Egyptian Air Force stood naked and helpless when their Israeli counterparts got from the USA their first McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms. Waves of IAF Phantoms bombed Egyptian facilities day and night and the Egyptians became desperate and hopeless. In their despair they turned again to their Russian partners, for help. The Soviet Union leader, Léonid Brejnev decided to help his dependents. In March 1970 three Mig-21 Soviet Air Force squadrons were stationed near Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan.


link 03/19/17 11:45:45PM @kavika:

Interesting history, Krish.

link 03/19/17 10:25:54PM @randy:

I really hope there is a way to stop further conflict between Israel and Russia before it gets out of hand. It would be nice if we had a functioning State Department to help, because I really don't think Jared Kushner is up to the task.

Buzz of the Orient
link 03/19/17 10:36:31PM @buzz-of-the-orient:

No matter what the political fallout might be, Israel is bound to do, as it has always done (which is why it still exists), whatever is necessary to maintain its security and the safety of its citizens (and in that respect I mean ALL its citizens, whether they be Jewish or Muslim or Christian or Druze or Buddhist or Baha'i or atheist or whatever).

link 03/19/17 10:55:14PM @kavika:

And Kurds and Bedouins.

Buzz of the Orient
link 03/19/17 11:15:03PM @buzz-of-the-orient:

"And Kurds and Bedouins."

LOL   All religions are included in the "...or whatever".  That's because Israel is NOT an apartheid nation, contrary to what hypocritical supporters of the apartheid West Bank and Gazans call it.)

"In a recent discussion of the anticipated Palestinian state, Mahmoud Abbas, leader in the territory, said he "would not tolerate one single Jew in his new country, Palestine." Speaking before journalists in Ramallah, he clearly noted, "We have already said, completely openly, and it will stay that way: 'If there is a Palestinian country with Jerusalem as its capital, we will not accept that even one single Jew will live there.'"

link 03/19/17 11:17:35PM @kavika:

In doing some research both the Kurds and Bedouins play an important part in the military of Israel.

You might be interested in this photo series, Buzz.

link 03/19/17 11:00:01PM @randy:

No matter what the political fallout might be, Israel is bound to do, as it has always done

I agree and they certainly have the right to defense. I just wish the U.S. had a real diplomat  to assign to the area instead of the massively inexperienced Kushner.

link 03/19/17 10:41:48PM @kavika:

With Tilerson busy with China and North Korea and without a 2nd in command, perhaps Trump will send Kellyanne to settle the issue.

link 03/19/17 10:58:00PM @randy:

perhaps Trump will send Kellyanne to settle the issue.

The scary part is that I don't think it would surprise all that many people at this point for him to do it. At least it would be better then him going himself.

link 03/19/17 10:45:24PM @krishna:

Russia's only naval base in the Meditteranean is Tartus, in Syria. (Although it does need work). They lost Egypt, who is now supposedly a friend of the U.S. So Russia's main interest is keeping Syria friendly to them-- keeping Assad in power. 

Israel is neutral in the Syrian Civil war and has not participated. All they've done is a few minor attacks when advanced weapons were being delivered to the Lebanese terror group Hezb'Allah (most of H. are now in Syria fighting to support Assad-- but if the war ends or winds down significantly, H. will return to Lebanon to re-new its focus on attempting to annihilate the Jewish state. So Israel wants to stop major Russian shipmegnts of asvanced weapons to H).


Buzz of the Orient
link 03/19/17 10:51:45PM @buzz-of-the-orient:

"So Israel wants to stop major Russian shipmegnts of asvanced weapons to H"

...along with those from Iran.

link 03/19/17 10:57:22PM @krishna:

Russia's giving Syria anti-aircraft defenses has not exactly helped to portray Russian technology in a very positive light....

Operation Orchard was an Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria, which occurred just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007.

 The Israeli and U.S. governments imposed virtually total news blackouts immediately after the raid that held for seven months. The White House and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) subsequently confirmed that American intelligence had also indicated the site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose . . . 

According to later news reports, the raid was carried out by Israeli Air Force (IAF) 69 Squadron F-15Is, F-16Is, and an ELINT aircraft; as many as eight aircraft participated and at least four of these crossed into Syrian airspace. The fighters were equipped with AGM-65 Maverick missiles, 500 lb bombs, and external fuel tanks.[2][15]

 One report stated that a team of elite Israeli Shaldag special-forces commandos arrived at the site the day before so that they could highlight the target with laser designators, while a later report identified Sayeret Matkal special-forces commandos as involved.

The attack pioneered the use of the Israel's electronic warfare capabilities, as IAF electronic warfare (EW) systems took over Syria's air defense systems, feeding them a false sky-picture for the entire period of time that the Israeli fighter jets needed to cross Syria, bomb their target and return.


link 03/19/17 11:11:04PM @randy:

The F15 is a particularly slippery plane to spot and catch...jus' sayin'.

link 03/19/17 11:47:36PM @krishna:

The F15 is a particularly slippery plane to spot and catch...jus' sayin'.

As was the French Mirage IIIC when its Israeli pilots went up against Russian pilots in their MIG 21's...resulting in 5 kills of Russian aircraft by Israeli pilots..with not a single Israeli plane downed by Russian pilots!

Rimon 20
Part of the War of Attrition
Date July 30, 1970
Location West of Suez Canal
Result Israeli victory
Israel Israel Soviet Union Soviet Union
Commanders and leaders
Mordechai HodIftach SpectorAmos Amir Nikolai Yurchenko  
12 Mirage IIICs
4 F-4E Phantom IIs
24 MiG-21MFs
Casualties and losses
1 aircraft damaged 4 killed
5 aircraft destroyed


link 03/20/17 12:05:15AM @randy:

I just have a warm spot in my heart from the F15. I was stationed at Grand Forks AFB when the Air Force sent a F15A test flight plane up to our base in January 1975 to try to break several world time to climb records. We got to run the data on the runs in our computer. After a few test runs a pilot took one from a standing start to 30,000 meters (98,425ft) in 3 minutes and 27 seconds shattering the record held by the Russians. It was awesome to stand by the runway watch it take off! Beautiful plane!

Buzz of the Orient
link 03/20/17 12:29:45AM @buzz-of-the-orient:

Would the newer F 35 Stealth fighter be even more difficult for defensive measures to spot and engage?




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