Israel bombs Syria, says targeting Hezbollah rockets

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by AKarlin, May 6, 2013.

  1. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    So, guess I'll kick things off around here.

    At the risk of getting egg on my face, I suspect this is going to stay limited.

    Israel has no interest in toppling Assad, because as has become increasingly evident in recent months, the armed Syrian opposition are mostly Islamists who have no liking for Israel.

    On the other hand, it certainly doesn't want a strong Syria either, or for Hezbollah to get more missiles. Those missiles are not going to be of any help to Assad against the rebels, but they would be a real annoyance were they to be deployed against Israel by Hezbollah. Destroying them wouldn't materially weaken Assad in his war against the rebels, while at the same time it would conveniently rid Israel of a potential security threat at a time when Assad is too weak and preoccupied with the civil war to respond effectively.

    I would also point out that the Israeli airstrikes, if anything, serve to increase Assad's legitimacy in Syria.
  2. Vostok

    Vostok Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

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    I still believe this entire fiasco has a lot to do with energy transportation. Syria is in the way.

    [​IMG]
  3. Sevan

    Sevan Citizen

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    The damage sustained by the Mt Qasioun military base (including the research center) seems extensive and Israel did hit several targets. Interestingly to note, there has been no discussion of casualties by the Western media, whilst Syrian media (Al Dounia and Sama), report upwards of 500 soldiers. Apparently the republican guard barracks was also hit. Artillery is also stationed on the mountain as it's a strategic location for targeting outlying towns/villages around Damascus.

    It's interesting that the Israelis also initiated this attack when the Syrian army has been on a very successful offensive, cutting the terrorists supply lines and retaken several key villages. I definitely agree that this will help Assad's legitimacy because it plays into the argument he has been using, that the Salafists and Wahabbis are pawns of Israel.

    But I think it will also weaken him if he doesn't retaliate as he will look weak. (The Syrian foreign ministry spokesman said that Syria will retaliate at a time of it's choosing but they said that after the January strike and nothing was forthcoming, the line is getting old).
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  4. Lauris Kaplinski

    Lauris Kaplinski Dead Soul

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    And this is bad news for Russia. Once again it is shown that being a Russian ally and weapons customers does not buy anyone security. Whether it is because the air defence systems do not work against modern enemy, or Russia refuses to sell complete and up-to-date systems, or provides your enemy with intelligence to overcome your defences is irrelevant in this context.
    You either have to be US ally or forget about security...
  5. Sevan

    Sevan Citizen

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    I believe it was stand off missiles fired by Israeli jets from Lebanese airspace? (they never ventured into Syrian airspace)
  6. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    @Sevan,

    Realistically speaking, how would you suggest Syria retaliate against Israel?

    @Lauris,

    That Israeli jets (again!) easily penetrated the Syrian air defense system, which is supposedly one of the best ones in the area, should indeed be a matter of serious concern to the Russian MIC.

    That said, I'm not sure it's accurate to call Syria a Russian ally. I think it's more a case of Russia just being neutral towards it, which stands out in a world in which the West is hostile. Here is what Putin has said about Assad on two different occassions:

    Not really the words of a close ally, I should say.
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  7. Sevan

    Sevan Citizen

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    They're obviously not in a position to retaliate, Assad is just going to have to hope that the rhetoric is enough.

    Btw, is this statement from Putin authentic?

    http://newsland.com/news/detail/id/1171194/
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  8. Lauris Kaplinski

    Lauris Kaplinski Dead Soul

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    If there really existed Iraninan missiles on Syria that were threat to Israel then Assad should probably also have couple of them. In minimum he could fire all them to Tel Aviv or something.

    Russia indeed does not have allies - but I think it is more its weakness than strength. Syria was probably the closest thing to Russian ally in Arab world. Supporting it more would give signals for other countries, that aligning their policies with Russian interests may be in their interest. Russia IMHO still has to overcome enormous deficit of goodwill because how it abandoned Serbia.
  9. Bellum

    Bellum Citizen

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    At least on previous strikes it was reported that Israeli planes didn't actually enter Syrian airspace, but launched standoff weapons from above Lebanon. It is believed that Pantsir-S1 should have some capability against missiles and munitions, but we have no information on where those units where situated and what is their readiness status. After all Pantsir is a short-ranged system so it must be positioned close to the target site in order to be able to engage. It is safe to assume that Israel is quite well aware of the positionings of Syrian air defence assets and can choose targets that have no significant coverege(if the target list isn't very short). The civil war has also probably impacted the readiness of Syrian air defence units, that have no direct role in the war raging in the country.

    On image level these strikes doesn't do any favors for Russian defence companies, that's pretty clear.
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