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.