Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iran, Syria and North Korea Worse For The Wear

Former Spook laughs at Iran's promise of retaliation should Israel strike it or friend Syria:

For the record, Iran actually has two missiles capable of reaching Israel, the Shahab-3 (with a maximum range of 800 miles, and the recently-delivered BM-25, a North Korean derivative of the Soviet-designed, SS-N-6 submarine launched ballistic missile (maximum range: 1500 miles). The operational status of the BM-25 is uncertain; a German diplomat reported last March that Iran had acquired 18 disassembled missiles from North Korea, presumably with a smaller number of launchers. Iran has never conducted a test launch of the BM-25, so it's unclear if the missile would be available for operations against Israel and U.S. targets in the Middle East.

As for the Shahab-3, that system attained its initial operating capability less than three years ago, after a long and troubled development. Most estimates place the number of Shahab-3 airframes in Iran at no more than 40, with a launcher inventory of less than half that total. Obviously, the number of available launchers is critical, since it limits the number of missiles that can be fired at any given time. So much for that 600 missile salvo.

Pat Dollard follows up: Iran Doesn’t Have 600 Missiles

Syria and North Korea's nuclear link is now confirmed.

Speaking of Iran, how is its proxy war in Iraq going?
The Revolutionary Guards, or at least the al Quds force (which specialize in supporting pro-Iranian terrorists in foreign countries) is having a hard time in Iraq. With the collapse of al Qaeda in Iraq (because the Sunni Arabs turned on them), U.S. troops are now concentrating on Iranian supported groups. Coalition commando forces are specifically looking to capture as many al Quds operatives as they can. As a result of this, Iran has been pulling its al Quds people out of Iraq. Those that have been captured so far have given up embarrassing and damaging information.

All this should add up to a wake-up call for Iran and Syria. They should be very shaken right now. And why?
the operation caught Damascus by surprise (there was apparently little reaction from Syria's air defense system); the Israelis inflicted serious damage on the target, and both the F-15I crews and the commandos escaped unscathed. Syria has threatened retaliation, but its options are limited.

Then, there's the matter of that commando team. If the Times is correct, those personnel arrived in the target area a day ahead of the fighters, inserted (we'll assume) by Israeli Sea Stallion helicopters. As we've noted before, the successful infiltration of a commando team by helicopter, deep into Syrian territory, is an impressive operational feat, indeed. But getting the commandos (and their choppers) all the way across Syria (and back again), undetected, represents a monumental challenge, even for a state-of-the-art military like the IDF.

It has also been learned that the strike was "coordinated" with the U.S.

Poor Iran. Even the French have deserted it. And now there are ever more rumors of war, as reports cite 2,000 targets in Iran. Three U.S. aircraft carriers are also now in the Persian Gulf.

Iran's woes deepen.


Weasel Zipper said...

If Bush leaves office without taking out Iran's nuclear capability he will go down as the WORST president of all-time.

Just my .02 cents.....

Nick Brunetti-Lihach said...

If the U.S. doesn't do the job, Israel will, I'd bet.