Saturday, May 4, 2013

Global SITREP A11-13: No 'Game Changer' for Hezbollah/IRGC

 IAF F-16I Sufa
After Action Update 7 May 2013: There are more articles, Op-Eds, speculations, and just plain wild-donkey guesses on what has occurred, what has resulted and what will happen next between Israel, Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Iran than anyone can shake a stick at.

Nobody can possibly predict what will happen in the next 24-48 hours because no one knows through the current fog of war what has just taken place in its totality.

The very best that can be said is that absolutely surreal and total chaos reigns supreme around Damascus, Syria.

This surreal chaos was captured its best and rawest form through a video which was obviously recorded by anti-Assad jihadist rebels of the assault that occurred on the western slopes of Mount Qasioun, the slopes that are on the far side from Damascus, facing Hezbollah and Iranian controlled central Lebanon.

In this video, posted in its raw form on YouTube, the rebels are heard in the audio track whispering and then shouting the Islamic takbir "Allah-hu Akhbar" (Allah is Greater!) as Israeli Air Force F-16I Sufa strike aircraft fire rockets and drop very large ordnance that erupts in tremendous explosions, thunders, pops and a massive fireball which turned night into day and whose shock-wave registered a 4 on the Richter scale for seismic activity. This same video was replayed endlessly on US evening news reports Monday night but without the accompanying Islamic jihadist soundtrack.

What can possibly emerge out of such utter chaos than a more unprecedented chaotic result? I think we all know the answer to this, but we're all still holding our collective breath less we speak the unspeakable horror that will result from a fulfillment of Isaiah 17 in the next few days. I am only reminded and reassured of Jesus' prophetic words concerning these very wars and rumors of wars: "See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." (Matthew 24:6 NKJV)


UPDATE 05  May 2013: The missiles that Israel has struck in Syria between Friday and early this morning is the subject of the update to this SITREP.  These missiles, according to most main stream media reports are Fateh-110's that were allegedly struck in a warehouse at Damascus International Airport, and which also reportedly would constitute a "game changer" have been in Hezbollah's possession since January 2010 in Lebanon according to Israeli media report (Naharnet) that was confirmed by the IDF. These same missiles, which are also known by a different name (M-600) were transferred to Hezbollah from Syria and made operational three years ago.

This advanced missile transfer wasn't a "game changer" three years ago, but it is today? Sorry, but I'm not buying that story - there is something much bigger going on that would suddenly get Israel to do what it did this past January, and again this past Friday morning in Damascus, and - based upon new information - a third massive attack has just occurred in the same Qudssaya area west of Damascus that was hit in January. I was going to update this SITREP with the new info, but how do you update something that was news from my perspective on this blog three years ago? Just because the MSM wasn't paying detailed attention to those critical events is not something I'm going to worry about now.

So, for the bulk of this update to the current situation I must first direct your attention "back to the future," to the report I researched and posted here on Eschatology Today three years ago:

The Syrian Missile Crisis: Threat of War Very Real : Friday, May 14, 2010 

So what could the "something much bigger" be that has caused Israel to determine it had collected, analyzed and decided it must now act upon as a "red line" too far?  I believe that Israel, perhaps with American assistance or perhaps not, but certainly with American concurrence, has determined that Iran, through their Hezbollah/IRGC forces in Lebanon had made final preparations to attack Israel's Dimona Nuclear Power Plant with the missiles and advanced warheads that are being struck in their staging areas around Damascus.

I think the key part of the intelligence assessment that made the determination were the two Iranian drones which were shot down, the first as it flew across the Negev Desert towards the Dimona NPP complex on October 6, 2012, and the second just 9 days ago as it flew south along Israel's Mediterranean coastline off Haifa. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time of the second Iranian drone shoot-down that he viewed the situation with the "utmost gravity." This morning that gravity appears to be pulling Israel and Syria towards the full-scale war I believed "The Syrian Missile Crisis" was going to provoke three years ago. What Syria does in the next few hours or days may well determine if we will be witness to the fulfillment the prophecy concerning Damascus, the rest of Syria, the cities of northern Jordan and northern Israel found in Isaiah 17.


04 May 2013: The Israel Air Force appears to have launched another precision strike package against an anti-aircraft missile depot located somewhere in western Syria. However, the IAF has suddenly changed its tactics in launching a strike inside Syria by using only stand-off, 'fire and forget" air-to-ground missiles. No IAF strike aircraft actually entered Syrian airspace on this mission flown very early Friday morning. The F-16I Sufa strike package apparently launched their missiles from the skies over northern Israel and Lebanon at the distant targets.

As reported in Global SITREP A9-13

"Speaking of steroids, the GBU-39A/B is a flechette-on-steroids of high precision, high lethality, low-to-no-collateral damage aerial weapons. A dart of a bunker buster, if you will. This is the state-of-the-art weapon Israel could immediately deploy on its F-16I Sufa strike aircraft to hit nuclear related bunkers or human targets in downtown Tehran and barely disturb the person sleeping in the building next door. The US has had these weapons since 2008, and now, just five years later, Israel will get the GBU-39A/B too.

The GBU-39A/B is light, only 285 pounds - but it has a high explosive (blast velocity = 5 miles per second) warhead that weighs 205 pounds. This bomb is more than 2/3rds high explosives. Makes a bad day for the bad guy his last day on earth no matter where he is hiding from a launch point that is 60 miles away - and that is well outside the range of most point air defense systems Iran or Syria possess. Additionally, this weapon's guidance system cannot be jammed or spoofed."
I'd assess that since an anonymous US official announced this strike before an IDF spokesperson did that our guy was in effect taking credit for a strike on advanced anti-aircraft missiles that a joint intelligence operation had determined were destined for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As in the 1 February 2013 strike on the Qudssaya military depot in the Western Damascus suburb (see The "Morton Salt Scenario"), perhaps these new anti-aircraft missile systems are intended as payment for the sacrifice Hezbollah and IRGC troops are making for the Al-Assad regime's fight against Jihadist Sunni rebels all over the Syrian countryside. 

With respect to that strike on Qudssaya, after-action analysis of photography issued by the Syrian government itself revealed perhaps a dozen or more completely destroyed Russian-made SA-8 (NATO-Name: Gecko) 9K33 Osa (Wasp) tactical surface-to-air missile systems, an example of which is seen in the image below.

Hezbollah and the IRGC in Lebanon currently have nothing like this very capable and battlefield proven point air defense system in their known inventory. The introduction of this system into the valleys of Lebanon might constitute a tactical "game changer" situation for Israel in the coming war with Hezbollah and the IRGC. Israel appears to have launched two strikes to prevent the transfer of either the Syrian SA-8 systems or WMD materials to the enemy forces in Lebanon. The first was that apparently bottle-necked convoy of SA-8 Gecko systems, and this one a fixed, non-moving target such as a warehouse. There is no information which indicates the GBU-39A/B can strike a moving target like a convoy. As expected the next IAF strike or series of strikes could occur at any time, as could a Syrian or Hezbollah/IRGC response against Israel.  Whatever the case, the war is in progress and we're watching it closely. An update on the actual location of the IAF airstrike will be made when it has been determined.


mark3210 said...

Thanks for another informative update, Sean.

If Syria is indeed preparing to strike Dimona than the situation is much graver than most people realize.

Do you have an opinion on what order we will see Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 fulfilled? Will one bring about the other or could they be a substantial amount of time apart?

Sean Osborne said...

I believe the situation has reaching a terminal point.

I did not say it outright, but my assessment is predicated on the idea that the mission for the successive Iranian drones was to collect and relay precise GPS targeting data for the missiles to be launched from Lebanon. I suspect that these new warheads have a very low CEP to impact point. Failing delivery to Hezbollah they'll be launched from Syria as al-Assad's last act.
The Shi'a/Alawites are going for broke in other words with al-Assad's tenure looking to be fairly short-term. When al-Assad falls then Hezbollah's days are finite as well.

I am of the opinion that both prophecies are fulfilled concurrently, but which actually occurs first only the Lord knows.

ali said...

I greatly appreciate your insightful analysis of this very fluid situation in Israel.

I pray America is standing with Israel - time will tell.

Drew said...

I think that there is much going on behind the scenes here. But I have a question. Do you think that it would be possible for the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt to put aside their animosity for Assad and ally themselves with him in any action against Israel, or would they support and wait for the Sunni rebels to take the Syriam government to take that kind of action? I ask because I remember that there is somekind of allience treaty between them that calls on them to cooroperate wi y h one another in case one or the other is attacked. Who knows, that treaty may be void now. But I think thst Egypt would be a major player in the next phase.


Sean Osborne said...


The mutual defense treaty between Egypt and Syria came into being on October 20, 1955 and again in November 1966, but the pact was voided by Syria because the Socialist Egyptians were over bearing and sought complete control over Ba'athist Syria.

Syria has a mutual defense treaty with Iran. Looks like history is repeating itself.

Great Grany 5 said...

Reading really terrible news out of Israel regarding Syria being given the green light by Putin to pay back Israel for attack on the shipment of missiles most recently. Is this more misinformation coming out of Israel (DebkaFile) or for a fact? Is Egypt a big player in this drama or is it more likely Saudi Arabia? Cannot get them in a correct mind frame for some reason but I don't trust the SA at all.
Shalom GG5