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Artillery: Syrian Secrets Revealed From On High
   Next Article → INFORMATION WARFARE: Israel Tells Lebanon How It Will Be Destroyed
June 2, 2010: In the last few months, Lebanese terror group Hezbollah appears to have received over a hundred M600 ballistic missiles from Syria. Now, after many people scoured Google Earth satellite photos of Syria and Lebanon, looking for the weapons, something particularly interesting was found in northern Syria, outside the town of Masyaf. Google Earth users noted five compounds, that appear to be closed to all but authorized personnel. Inside these compounds there appeared to be entrances to bunkers dug into adjacent hills. In 2003, Syrian sources reported that Iraqi chemical weapons were sent to Syria, and some were storied in bunkers near Masyaf. These bunkers are believed to hold other munitions, including missiles being shipped to Hezbollah facilities in Lebanon. There, hundreds of tunnels and bunkers are used for storing Hezbollah munitions, personnel and vehicles. Satellite and aerial photos have seen weapons being brought in and out of these tunnels. Syria denies providing Hezbollah with any weapons.

The M600 missile is a copy of the Iranian Fateh which, in turn, is a copy of the Chinese DF-11A (which had a range of 400 kilometers). The M600 is a 8.86 meter (27.5 foot), 3.5 ton rocket with a half ton warhead. Range is about 250 kilometers. This might account for the reports, late last year, that Syria had provided Hezbollah with SCUD missiles. Both the M600 and SCUD are ballistic missiles, but the M600 is a more modern design. SCUD was developed from the German World War II era V-2.

Hezbollah is also known to have some Fajr-5 rockets. This is a one ton guided missile based the old Soviet unguided artillery rockets (the larger ones). Fajr-5 has a range of about 75 kilometers and a 91 kg (200 pound) warhead. The guidance system is crude, and the Fajr-5 will land up to kilometer from its aim point. Hezbollah is also believed to have some Iranian Zalzal rockets. These are based on the old Soviet unguided FROG series, and is no more accurate than the Fajr-5, weighs three tons, has a 636 kg (1,400 pound) warhead and a range of about 200 kilometers. Both of these missiles use solid fuel and, by U.S. standards, decades old technology. But they allow Hezbollah to hit targets throughout most of Israel.

All these weapons, except for the SCUDS, use solid fuel, meaning they can be launched within ten minutes of the vehicle carrier/launcher halting. Hezbollah is believed have these launcher vehicles hidden throughout southern Lebanon, and able to exit caves or buildings and promptly fire. If Israel does not know some of the hiding places, then some of these missiles can be fired.

During the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 rockets, most of them shorter range (20 kilometers) 122mm BM-21 models. They fired a few longer range rockets at urban areas, and the larger warheads did a lot of damage and caused some casualties. Israeli civil defense plans now take into account more long range missiles being fired by Hezbollah in the future, even though Israel has Patriot and Arrow anti-missile systems deployed. But if Hezbollah, or Syria and Iran, can fire too many missiles at once, Israeli anti-missile defenses will be overwhelmed.

 

 

Next Article → INFORMATION WARFARE: Israel Tells Lebanon How It Will Be Destroyed
  

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trenchsol       6/3/2010 10:29:05 AM
I have a problem with the idea that Iraq sent chemical weapons to Syria. The relationship between two regimes were tense. Syria even took part in first Gulf War. I know that some Iraqi jets escaped to Iran during Desert Storm, but Iran never returned them.
 
Then, who did that ? Insurgents ? Were those weapons smuggled across the border, and then captured by Syrian security forces ? Why would Syria report about being in possession of chemical weapons ?
 
I don't say that the report is untrue, but it is incomplete at best.
 
DG
 
 
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Paul_In_Houston    The story I've heard is...   6/3/2010 1:34:44 PM
...that Russians (spetsnaz???) did the moving, partly to remove evidence of their own complicity in their development.  I do NOT have any sources on this, and it could be complete BS as far as I know.
I hope someone far more knowledgeable than I will chime in on this.
 
(Of course, the Catch-22 of this would be be "How in Hell would I know if he knows what he's talking about or not?" :-)
 
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cwDeici       6/3/2010 5:31:25 PM
They might have, but we'll never know. One thing's for certain, unless there's a small miracle the world commons will always assume they didn't.
 
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WarNerd       6/3/2010 6:35:12 PM

I have a problem with the idea that Iraq sent chemical weapons to Syria. The relationship between two regimes were tense. Syria even took part in first Gulf War. I know that some Iraqi jets escaped to Iran during Desert Storm, but Iran never returned them.

Then, who did that ? Insurgents ? Were those weapons smuggled across the border, and then captured by Syrian security forces ? Why would Syria report about being in possession of chemical weapons ?


Iraq and Syria were both Bathist regimes, so there was a certain level of trust between the countries.  And Syria was probably the only neighboring that would not turn over the evidence to the international community with great fanfare.
 
Iraqi aircraft escaped to all the surrounding countries that were not covered by the coalition air defense (Syria and Jordan) during Desert Storm, not just Iran.
 
And no, the Syrians did not report that they are in possession of chemical weapons (CW), especially chemical weapons or CW technology from Iraq.  All public reports of their having CW are simply speculation, though I would be extremely surprised if they did not have at least some of those weapons, either of domestic manufacturer or received from Saddam.
 
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Paul_In_Houston       6/4/2010 12:34:04 PM
cwDeici       6/3/2010 5:31:25 PM
They might have, but we'll never know.
 
We might someday, long after it matters.
 
There were rumors of Soviet pilots flying during the Korean War, almost from the start, but they weren't officially confirmed until the release of records after the fall of the Soviet Union.
So, who knows what may be in archives now?  (Although the Soviet Union is gone, bureaucracy is eternal.  If any of this was done, you can safely bet it is documented somewhere.)
 
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