Sunday, May 19, 2013

Global SITREP A12-13 : Syrian Missiles Reportedly Target Tel Aviv

19 May 2013: Numerous reports, many with confused or inaccurate details, more or less concur with the premise published in The Sunday Times of London, Jerusalem Post, the Times of Israel, YNet, etc, that the Syrian Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad is now targeting Tel Aviv, Israel with the same type of Short Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM) that it has been unsuccessfully attempting to deliver to Hezbollah since late January.  The media reports refer to these SRBMs as the Tishreen (seen above), and that name is merely another Syrian nomenclature for the Iranian-made Fateh A-110B. The previously acknowledged name for this missile is the M600. This variant is reportedly accurate enough to strike within 109 yards of its target; it is a single stage, solid propellant-powered missile with a 200-mile range fitted with a 500 lb high explosive warhead. The Iranian-made Fateh A-110 is itself a guided version of the also Iranian-made Zelzal-2 liquid fueled missile, which itself is based upon the Russian-made R-65 FROG. 
Given the reported range of this missile all of the fixed and road mobile batteries must be located in Syria no further north than the border between the Dimashq and Homs governorates on the map below. This significantly narrows the areas which Israel would need to keep under constant overhead (i.e. satellite) surveillance.
Also note with respect to the above map, the southern-most Syrian governorate Quneitra (yellow) is the Golan Heights that has been militarily occupied by Israel since the Yom Kippur War of October 1973.

The "Tishreen" SRBMs are reported to be advanced missiles. However, that advancement is relative to the level of advanced ballistic missile technology and warhead accuracy possessed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which are fairly accurate, but nothing near that found in Israel's missile inventory. If this report is accurate and the Syrian missiles are imaged in launch position, then another round of preemptive strikes by the IAF could occur at any time. The real question is whether or not Bashar al-Assad is willing to risk the survival of his regime and the whole of Syria on another attempt to supply these missiles to Hezbollah. That is a risk only a defeated tyrant could be expected to take.

9 comments:

mark3210 said...

Sean,
If the missiles Syria has aimed can travel 200 miles that puts Dimona also in range, right?

It's still hard for me to get a feel for when the full blown war will break out. It always seems like we're one step away from that, doesn't it?

Sean Osborne said...

Mark,

If they were located within Damascus or its northern/western suburbs and free from rebel attack, then the answer is yes, they could reach Dimona.

There is no way of knowing when full-scale hostilities will erupt.

And how this delicate balance is maintained between two states who technically have been in a state of war over the past 40 years is almost certainly due to Israel's overwhelming power.

We're probably just one Syrian miscalculation away from the fulfillment of Isaiah's and Jeremiah's prophesies.

Jeremy Lobb said...

Hi Sean,

There is one other problem that is now facing Israel and that is the Russian S-300 air defense batteries with their Russian crews, supposedly delivered to Syria. What is the ramification of that? The hook in the jaw? too soon from my point of view but?

Your thoughts, please.

Have a great day.
jeri

Sean Osborne said...

Jeri,

I have not yet seen irrefutable evidence that Russia has delivered S-300PMU-1/2 systems to Syria.

I also seriously doubt Russia would deliver this system and subject its own technicians to the very real threat of attack from the ground by Syrian rebels and from the air by the IAF.

What Syria has had since 2011 is the Russian-made BUK-M2 (SA-17 Grizzly) air defense system.

The SA-17 system does everything the S-300PMU-1/2 could do a lot cheaper, yet despite three major air strikes since January of this year not a single Israeli jet has been threatened by SA-17 missile fire.

So, with the SA-17 being either completely suppressed by Israel's electronic counter-measures or it is inoperative due to a lack of trained manpower, what good would an even more expensive and technically challenging air defense system be to a regime that is fighting for its survival in ground combat against an enemy that has no air force?

If I were Netanyahu I would have told Putin last week that any S-300 delivery to Syria will be destroyed immediately, as will any SA-17 system which illuminates an IAF aircraft with its radar.

Jeremy Lobb said...

Thanks Sean,

Makes me feel relieved:-)! Still very interesting times that we are living in.

Sean Osborne said...

Jeri,

It should go without saying that there are no prerequisites for the prophecy of Isaiah 17 to come to its fulfillment - that is to say specific types of missiles would be irrelevant to the fulfillment.

For all we know renewed war erupting on the Golan could be a catalyst for it all to kick off. It could almost anything.

Drew said...

Well, the on again - off again sale of Russian S-300 SA missiles is on again. Of course the Israilis have said they will not let that happen. In fact they have said that Russian shipping bringing those missiles will be subjet to interdiction. Meanwhile Hezballah has entered the conflict on the side of Assad, hoping no doubt to get their hands on some of those advanced surface to surface missiles that the Russians have supposed to have already supplied to Assad. Meanwhile our Sec State Kerry and Senetor McCain have been meeting with the rebels trying to get them money and arms. The pressure is building for israel and looks like it may be released soon. I guess the next move is up to Russia, unless our President decides he needs to take some kind of action. I sure hope not.

Drew said...

Hey Sean,

If it is proven that Assad has used chemical weapons, do you think that the west in general, and the U.S in particular, will take any kind of military action against him. I think it would be a mistake for us to get involved, but I am also aware that the west has an intrest in proventing anykind of WMD escalation.

Sean Osborne said...

Drew,

When it comes to chemical weapons in Syria "proven" is the operative word.

Both al-Assad and the al-Nusra/al-Qaeda rebels have chemical weapons in their arsenals. Specifically, both have the chemical agents sarin and mustard. Both have chlorine gas weapons.

This past week, in a report virtually no one in this country noticed, government officials in Baghdad, Iraq finally located the al-Qaeda-in-Iraq facility which has been producing sarin and mustard agent for use in Syria by al-Nusra.

Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra are the same Sunni jihadist organization as i reported a short time ago.

Proving which side is using what chemical weapon in Syria will be difficult at best; and a little easier if the big powers with an unalterable agenda want to have they way regardless of who is doing the killing with chemical weapons.

And, while I'm on the subject, Hezbollah also has chemical weapons in Lebanon. I saw a report today that they may strike Israel with their (Iranian-made) chemical weapons loaded onto small drone aircraft.

Pretty rough summer in store me thinks.