Thursday, April 27, 2017

Russia Condemns Alleged Israeli Missile Strike, Israeli Missile Downs Syrian Drone Over Golan Heights, Israel's F-35s May Have Already Flown Combat Missions

Russia condemns alleged Israeli missile strike in Syria

The Kremlin on Thursday called for restraint after Syria accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near Damascus airport.

“We continue to consider that all countries need to refrain from any kind of actions that lead to an increase in tension in this already restive region and call for respect of the sovereignty of Syria,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia, which has deployed its forces to back up the Syrian regime, has a hotline set up to avoid clashes with Israeli jets in the skies over the war-torn country.

Peskov did not confirm if Israel had warned Moscow of the strike, saying only that the two nations’ “defense ministries are in constant dialogue.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later went further than the Kremlin and slammed the alleged Israeli strikes.
“Gross violations of Syrian sovereignty — no matter how they are justified — are unacceptable,” she said in a televised briefing. “Moscow condemns acts of aggression against Syria.”
In line with its usual practice, Israel’s military declined to comment on the latest blast, which created a huge explosion.
Earlier Thursday, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz appeared to confirm that Israel was behind the overnight strike.
Katz, who is also transportation minister, told Army Radio in an interview that “the incident is completely compatible with our policy of preventing weapons transfer to Hezbollah,” the Lebanon-based terror group supported by the Syrian regime and Iran.
“Every time we receive intelligence information on plans to transfer advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, we will act,” the minister added. “We must prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria.”
After the strike, explosions rocked the area around Damascus’s airport, setting off fires. Syria’s state media SANA said Israel fired several missiles from inside the Golan Heights south of the capital at a military installation near the capital’s main airport, triggering several blasts and causing damage.
One unconfirmed report by an Israeli Channel 1 journalist said a commander in Hezbollah and an unspecified number of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members were killed in the strike. But reports from Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese television outlet al-Manar said there was only material damage from the strike, with no casualties.
An unnamed regional intelligence source, quoted by Reuters, said the strike was carried out by Israel and targeted an Iran-supplied Hezbollah arms depot.
Al-Manar also attributed the raid to the Jewish state, saying an initial missile strike against a weapons warehouse belonging to government forces caused fuel silos to explode, leading to a cascade of explosions that damaged a few nearby homes.
Israel is widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria — including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles — as well as Hezbollah positions, but it rarely confirms such operations on an individual basis.

A Patriot missile intercepted a Syrian drone that entered Israeli airspace on Thursday evening, the army said.

According to the IDF, the missile successfully downed the unmanned aerial vehicle over the Golan Heights.

“The IDF will not allow any breach of Israel’s airspace and will act against any attempt of infiltration,” the army said in a statement.
According to the IDF, the Syrian UAV was under “full [Israeli Air Force] surveillance” while it was in Israeli airspace.
It was not initially clear if the aircraft was Russian or Syrian, but the army later confirmed that it was Syrian.
The army said residents of northern Israel could go about their lives as normal.
A video from the northern Israeli city of Safed showed the Patriot missile launch.

Israel received three F-35s from the US on Tuesday, bringing its total inventory of the revolutionary fighter up to five, but according to a French journalist citing French intelligence reports, Israeli F-35s have already carried out combat missions in Syria.
In Air Forces Monthly, Thomas Newdick summarized a report from Georges Malbrunot at the French newspaper Le Figaro that said Israel took its F-35s out on a combat mission one month after getting them from the US.
Malbrunot reported that on January 12, Israeli F-35s took out a Russian-made S-300 air defense system around Syrian President Bashar Assad's palace in Damascus and a Russian-made Pantsir-S1 mobile surface-to-air missile system set for delivery to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel has repeatedly and firmly asserted that its goal to make sure weapons cannot reach Hezbollah, a terror group that has sworn to seek the destruction of Israel.
In March, Israel said it had conducted an airstrike in Syria.
"When we know about an attempt to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah, we do whatever we can to prevent this from happening, provided we have sufficient information and capabilities to react," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to Russian state-run media.
However, the other details of the story seem unlikely. The only known S-300 system in Syria is operated by the Russians near their naval base, so hitting that would mean killing Russian service members. There are no reports that this happened.
Tyler Rogoway of The Drive pointed out that the Pantsir-S1 air defenses would bolster Hezbollah in Lebanon, but Israel wouldn't be under immediate pressure to destroy this system. Its jets have advanced air-defense-suppression and electronic-warfare capabilities that limit the threat posed by the Pantsir-S1 and make it unlikely that Israel would risk F-35s to attack it.

But parts of the French report hold up — there was indeed an airstrike on January 12 at the Mezzeh air base. The Syrian government accused Israel of the strike, according to the BBC.

Jeff Halper, the author of "War Against the People," a book that looks at the military ties between Israel and the US, told Al Jazeera that Israeli pilots may be the first to see combat action in the F-35.
"Israel serves as the test-bed for the development of these kinds of new weapons," Halper said. "The F-35 will be tested in the field, in real time, by Israel. The likelihood is that the first time the plane is used in combat will be with Israeli pilots flying it."


Mrs.C said...

Oh my, this is going to get really interesting....:)

"Trump may announce US embassy move to Jerusalem during Israel visit "

"Reports of a visit on May 22, a day before Jerusalem Day. US President Donald Trump may use his visit to Israel next month to announce the moving of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) said on Thursday.

DeSantis, who is chairman of the House committee with oversight of US embassies around the world, said the timing of Trump’s visit – two days before Jerusalem Day, marking 50 years since the reunification of the capital – is not accidental. "


Anonymous said...

How long until Russia can no longer hold back it's hammer from striking Israel, thus igniting global warfare?

Lord forgive us all.