Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why would Israel give Syria 16 years before acting against its long range missile program?


In 1991, amid the Gulf war, Syria understood the lesson of ballistic missile strikes from Iraq. Syria began ordering extended-range missiles from North Korea in a move that significantly expanded their relationship.

What Damascus wanted was medium-range missiles that could strike Israel from deep within Syria. This was the primary lesson of the 1991 Gulf war for the late Syrian President Hafez Assad.

In the last days of the Gulf war, Assad ordered Scud C ballistic missiles, with a range of 500 kilometers, from North Korea as well as expertise to eventually produce them in Syria. Pyongyang was prompt and sent a shipment of missiles in a transaction monitored by Israel's Mossad.


Not exactly a whopping shock.

Mossad urged the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to destroy the boat. The Mossad argument was that Assad would not dare to order additional missiles if he knew that they would never reach his country.

What I would have probably done.

Mossad agents installed an electronic tracking device on the North Korean missile shipment as the Al Yarmouk freighter anchored in Casablanca, Morocco. The device weighed more than two pounds and was placed on the hull by a Mossad diver.

With Al Yarmouk under full surveillance, the Israeli military was preparing to destroy the boat in the Mediterranean. Israel would not admit to the attack.

Righteous operation

But the plan was shelved by Shamir. The prime minister, believed warned by the United States, ordered the boat to be left alone and Al Yarmouk arrived in the Syrian port of Latakia in March 1991.

Wait a minute, I thought the USA did what the Israel lobby, LIKUD and the jews want.

Syria had its first Scud Cs and within a few years acquired production capability. Later, Damascus acquired and produced the Scud D, with a range of 700 kilometers. Assad got his wish of being able to target anywhere in Israel.

In September 2007, Israel finally acted. After months of trying to convince the Bush administration, the Israel Air Force struck and destroyed a suspected nuclear facility in northwestern Syria. The assessment was Syria was trying to weaponize warheads for the Scud D.

Well it's one theory. But it doesn't sound much like Itzhak Shamir to me. Bush and Baker famously hated his guts because he just didn't listen.

I think the Israelis took out the sight in the Syria desert because they believe it was a nuclear weapons related plant..anything from the beginning of a program to a weaponization of outsourced NoKo U-235. More explosive weapons on missiles is not something for a major IAF operation.

BACK GROUND from August 07


Michael Travis said...

I thank from the bottom of my heart for writing this article Epi. It is very important that Americans come to terms with the uncomfortable truth about the situation vis a vis the Arab threat. If (and it ain't a gonna happen) the Arab forces that we have trained, managed to eliminate Israel...their next targets (with the able assistance of China and the Russians) will be Europe and the United States. With a stranglehold on the oil supplies, the Islamic nations will be able to demand, and receive, any concessions that they wish. There is no way that the Republicrats will risk the disruption of Saudi and Iranian oil production....we will cave in to any request.

Michael Travis said...

Of course it should be remembered that Syria was a major part of the virtual U.S. led "Coalition" during "Operation Desert Storm". In return, Syria was given a free hand in Lebanon............and those pesky Jews were told in no uncertain terms that any attack against a coalition member would be considered an attack against the United States.