Israel Bombs Syria Convoys Near Lebanon Border

UPDATE 11:15 EST:   According to officials, the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically “game-changing” in the hands of Hezbollah.

As of now Syria, Hezbollah,  Israel and Lebanon are not publically acknowledging the incident and it appears that there will be no immediate retaliation.

Israel Bombs Syria Convoys Near Lebanon Border

Israeli warplanes carried out an overnight attack against Syrian missile and arms convoys standing on the Lebanese border at Zabadani southern Syria, apparently ready for transfer to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It is also being reported that the Lebanese army is on high alert after Israel forces appear to have penetrated the border area.

Israeli forces attacked a target on the Syrian-Lebanese border overnight,  Western diplomats and regional security sources said on Wednesday, shortly after the Lebanese army reported a heavy presence of Israeli jets over its territory throughout the night. 

According to a statement by the Lebanese army, four Israeli Air Force planes entered Lebanese air space at 16:30 p.m. These planes were replaced four hours [20:30] later by another group of planes. Then at 2 a.m. the second group was replaced by more Israeli airplanes, and the mission finally came to an end at 7:55 a.m.

News of the attack came soon after Lebanese army reported that  IAF fighter planes flew over Lebanon in three separate missions; Israeli officials have repeatedly warned this week that Syrian chemical weapons could be falling into the wrong hands.

The Israel jets said to have struck alleged weapons convoy in Syria, after IDF intel chief consultations in Washington.  Israeli Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Tuesday reportedly met with American officials at the Pentagon,  among those Kochavi met at the Pentagon Tuesday was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror also flew to Russia on Monday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Channel 2 TV reports that 500 Syrian Scud missiles have been deployed to launch positions withing range of tel Aviv and central Israel.

Characteristics

NATO codename Scud-A Scud-B Scud-C Scud-D
U.S. DIA SS-1b SS-1c SS-1d SS-1e
Official designation R-11 R-17/R-300    
Deployment Date 1957 1964 1965? 1989?
Length 10.7 m 11.25 m 11.25 m 12.29 m
Width 0.88 m 0.88 m 0.88 m 0.88 m
Launch weight 4,400 kg 5,900 kg 6,400 kg 6,500 kg
Range 180 km 300 km 550 km 300 km
Payload 950 kg 985 kg 600 kg 985 kg
Accuracy (CEP) 3000 m 450 m 700 m 50 m

Accuracy is the potential deviation from a precise target point.  The explosive force of these weapons is many times the few pounds in the Gaza rockets.

Syria has the [Soviet produced: Scud-B, Scud-C, Scud-D, and the North Korea produced Scud B and D: the Hwasong-6 and Rodong-1]

Following Netanyahu’s warning about Syria this week, there has been an increased demand for gas mask kits among the Israeli public. Some 4,000 kits were distributed on Tuesday alone, compared to an average of 1,400 daily last week.

Around 4,700,000 kits have been distributed in Israel in recent years, as part of a new government plan to equip the public.

An official election report is to be presented to president Peres on Wednesday evening, he is then expected to ask Netanyahu to form a new government sometime Friday.

From the moment that Peres entrusts Netanyahu with forming a coalition, he will have 28 days to form a new government. If an extension is required, the president has the authority to grant an additional 14 days.

Iran:  Iranian news agency Al-Alam reported that the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution started a maritime drill in the Persian Gulf, aimed at “Fortifying defense strategies.”

Catholic Church:   Israel and the Catholic church have reached agreement of formalizing diplomati relations. Signing will be left up to the new Israeli government.

GERMANY: Germany’s opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens have gained momentum against Merkel, after winning a regional vote last week, Forsa poll put the SPD up two points at 25 percent and the Greens up 1 point at 15 percent; total 40 %. Merkel’s conservatives dropped 2 points to 40 percent. However, her Free Democrat (FDP) coalition partners were flat at 4 percent, one point below the threshold needed to enter parliament.

Lebanon: The Lebanon Army claiming that four Israeli fighter jets penetrated the air space near Naquora, in the south of the country, at around 9:05 P.M., passing over a number of area before leaving at around 2 A.M. on Wednesday.

The report comes just a few days after the Lebanon Army reported that the IAF had violated Lebanon’s airspace on Saturday in four different incidents. The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported that Israel Air Force fighter jets were seen flying around the Beka’a Valley.

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