Articles of the Day 1/27/14: Another Strike

Israeli planes said to hit missile site in Syria

IAF took out S-300’s in Latakia?

Mystery Blast in Syrian Port: Did IDF Strike S-300 Missiles?

Lebanese sources: Israel bombed S-300 missiles in Latakia 

It does look like Israel struck inside Syria again. Could be the S-300 missiles or something else. We will find out hopefully in the coming days. Still no response from Syria or Hizballah. Guess they are content to keep getting hit over and over again. Deterrence clearly not working for them.

Al Jazeera: Why Can’t Arab Armies Be More Like Israel?

In a development that might shock many, Al-Jazeera has openly admitted that the Israeli army is far more humane than any Arab armed force, and far less cruel than it is typically portrayed by supposedly objective Western media.

Just shows the level of bias in Western media.

Israeli officer: With 30,000 Al Qaeda fighters in Syria, Israel re-evaluates its neutrality in civil war

“In a special briefing to foreign correspondents Friday, Jan. 24, a high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that more than 30,000 al-Qaeda-linked fighters are active in Syria, a huge increase over the 2,000 jihadis present there two years ago. With jihadis in control of Syrian territory on Israel’s northern borders, the high-ranking officer said “many discussions are taking place behind closed doors about the possibility of rethinking its strategy” of neutrality in the Syrian civil war….

Although the IDF officer did not go into Israel’s military plans for tackling the burgeoning Al Qaeda threat, debkafile’s military sources project some options.

a) Carving out secure buffer zones, permanent or temporary, on the Syrian side of the border. This would be contingent on the cooperation of local Syrian militias willing to rid their lands of Al Qaeda incursions.

b) Air and ground strikes against jihadist border concentrations.
c) Deep thrusts inside Syria and Iraq to block al Qaeda forces’ advances to threaten the Kingdom of Jordan.
d) Targeted assassinations of top al Qaeda commanders.
e) Thwarting jihadist drives to extend their conquests of strategic areas of Syria for use as springboards against Israel. One example is Jebel Druze, whose population has preserved neutrality and stayed out of the Syrian civil war.

While I am sure Israel is very nervous about the Jihadis in Syria, and they should be, I think the fear is a bit overstated. It is likely most are already battle wary and some might even be disillusioned by Jihad. Most say Israel after Assad. Since there seems no clear to the end of Assad then who knows really when Al Qaeda can really exert in any real threat to Israel. Still, they are now on the borders and Israel will have to account for that. I would expect something like the American drone strike program at most. Israel leads the world in UAV tech and could strike Jihad held territory with impunity. They already have excellent intelligence and they probably already know where the cell leaders are located and are tracking them.  Given Israel’s reluctance to take causalities this seems the likely method.  I don’t expect deep armored thrusts to create a buffer or heavy air power used against this threat.

Israeli expert on Syria: The West and Israel are not in hurry to get rid of Assad

“The West and Israel have been reluctant to intervene with enough force to tip the balance of the fighting in Syria, but the continued influx of Sunni jihadists to the region and their increasing attacks in neighboring Lebanon and Iraq has some thinking Assad’s regime is the better of two evils.”

It does seem like lately that seems to be the case. Two years ago there was talk of arming the jihadists but not any more. The number of terrorists in Syria could be staggering. They are still not unified however, which makes them much less of a force to be reckoned with.  Assad has missiles with range and may still have some chemical weapons. He is an Iranian proxy and still arms Hezbollah. In my mind this still makes him the greater threat. If he falls, Iran is weakened and so is Hezbollah. To Israel would it not be better to face an unorganized Sunni threat then an organized Shiite threat? True you have have varying levels of deterrence with Assad and virtually none with the Jihadists. In terms of combat power though, on your border, I think the Jihadists would be preferred.

Islamic Jihad Threatens Suicide Bombings, Escalation

“A clash seems to be looming between Israel and the radical Islamist movement Islamic Jihad, as they abandon pledges made under a fragile ceasefire that ended the last full-scale war in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Israel recently targeted two of the group’s terrorists for firing rockets at it, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised to teach Gaza-based terrorists a “lesson” for repeated breaches of the ceasefire.”

It seems Israel has lifted any restriction against targeted assassinations of Islamic Jihad members. Hamas will want to try to sit this one out but Israel will take opportunistic shots at them since they are the government in charge. Islamic Jihad is emerging as the main threat from Gaza. I wonder how the Palestinian people would feel about being used by Iran and taking a beating on Iran’s behalf. Probably the same way the Lebanese people do. You really have Sunni and Shiite competition to attack Israel. All the strife an

Secret Iranian team in Beirut to counter suicide attacks and upgrade Hizballah intelligence

“Iran has embarked on an urgent project for rebuilding Hizballah’s intelligence and security mechanisms from scratch, to repair the ravages inflicted by the spate of suicide attacks on its strongholds in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon, since the Shiite militia joined the Syrian war.”

I think the level damage they have sustained is exaggerated in this article. They have taken some hits for sure but I doubt they need to rebuild their whole intelligence  and security from scratch because of a few dozen car bombs. This seems wishful thinking to me.

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