Friday, July 14, 2006

Hezbollah Debuts Its Armed UAV Capability

Haaretz has details on the attack which damaged an Israeli naval vessel, by an UAV, in the dark and while operating 16 km from the Lebanese coast.

An explosives-laden drone, apparently launched by Hezbollah, hit an Israel Navy warship off the coast of Beirut, causing serious damage to its steering capability, Israel Defense Forces confirmed Friday night. The incident occurred at around 8:30 P.M., as the ship was some 16 kilometers from the Lebanese coast. The blast caused a fire close to the helicopter landing pad onboard. The ship's steering mechanism also sustained some damage. Several hours after the vessel was hit, an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said the damage was worse than originally thought. She added that the ship, still burning, was being towed back to Israel. There were some 80 people on board the ship when it was hit.

This is a major warship operating in line of sight, but beyond normal nighttime visual range. According to the Security Watchtower, the drone was probably a Mirsad-1.

A Hezbollah unmanned aerial drone crashed into an Israeli warship off the Mediterranean coast on Friday, damaging the steering of the vessel. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah claimed the ship had been sunk. The UAV was likely a Mirsad-1, built by the Iranian state owned Qods Aviation Industry. On previous occasions, Nasrallah has boasted that "you can load the Mirsad plane with a quantity of explosive ranging from 40 to 50 kilos and send it to its target."

In 2005, U.S. and Israeli intelligence noted that Iranian soldiers were stationed in southern Lebanon where they operated the Mirsad-1, eight of which are believed to have been given by Iran to Hezbollah. Reports indicate that an estimated 30 Hezbollah operatives have completed training in Isfahan, Iran. Asked about the threat of the UAV's, Joseph Cirincione, a weapons expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said "the danger is that Hezbollah will now have the capability to inflict greater damage on Israel by more precise targeting."

Commentary

An attack at this distance, by night on a warship indicates a very high level of targeting skill. A capability beyond Hezbollah's own limited resources. This suggests that Iranian technical assistance to its client has been extensive and thorough. In some ways, this incident is reminiscent of the use of Saggers and integrated air defense by the Egyptian Army during the Yom Kippur War. Iran had anticipated what Israel would do and prepared for it. It is now not out of the question that Hezbollah may have MANPADs or very long range, perhaps even guided rockets. With what warheads we can only guess, but chemical is not out of the question. The stricken Israeli warship is major combatant on the scale of navies in the area. Although not sunk, it has been mission killed. This is a spectacular naval victory for Hezbollah.

But it also brings Israel and Iran closer to direct combat. With proof that advanced weapons are now in the hands of Hezbollah, it becomes absolutely impossible for Israel to consider Hezbollah in isolation from its armorers. The diplomatic efforts to date are now imperiled by this grave development.

94 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

The Times of London is reporting substantial Israeli ground units concentrating at Lebanon's southern border. Quo vadis?

7/14/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Time is long past for Israel to take off the gloves. The world is going to condemn them in whatever they do in battling Hamas and Hezbollah. War is what they wanted and war is what Israel should give them. And Syria too. Too bad the US can't engage in some payback with the boy Assad.

7/14/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Israel has seen these before, it sounds like, although never as a weapon. It's interesting that they can evade air defenses.

Hezbollah has never before used a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft to attack Israel. But in a signal of its growing capabilities, the guerrilla group has twice managed to fly spy drones over northern Israel in recent years. The drones caused great concern in Israel because they evaded the country's air defenses.

7/14/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Wretchard:

While I agree that the cost of a cease fire has just gone up for Hizbollah, and ground troops in Lebanon are growing more likely; why would either Israel or Iran want to get involved with a shooting war with each other.

The logistics suck.

I guess I can understand the whole WWI analogy, but it lacks the fact that THE world superpower has a huge, forward-deployed force along the main axis of combat. For all the talk about the craziness of the mullahs, Iranians must understand that shooting missiles over US forces is not going to bode well for their long term goals, right?

Maybe the Iranians are selling out Syria in order to create further instability in the US flank. That I might believe.

7/14/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

Wretchard, it appears to me that right now the Israelis are using their military, namely the airforce and navy, to interdict Lebanon, to destroy C&C, and to elminate infrastructure which could be used to faciliate reinforcement or re-supply of Hizb'allah by Iran or Syria, as well as to cut off the escape of Hizb'allah and Iranian agents into Syria. Once they are confident lines of supply out of Lebanon are sufficiently cut, I expect a move by Israeli forces into S. Lebanon, probably as far as to the Bekka valley. Expect an armored brigade, plus one or two infantry brigades. The other Israeli units in theater will probably serve to deter possible Syrian aggression.

7/14/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

"But it also brings Israel and Iran closer to direct combat. With proof that advanced weapons are now in the hands of Hezbollah, it becomes absolutely impossible for Israel to consider Hezbollah in isolation from its armorers." - Wretchard

I wouldn't be surprised to see Israel strike a blow at Iran's newly hyped naval capabilities. (Or not, right DR?)

7/14/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

brett,

I agree 100% about the logistical madness fighting Israel represents. When all is said and done, Iran is far from Lebanon. Now we know why the Israeli navy closed the ports. That was probably the way to get the bulk weaponry in from Iran. But that's interdicted.

That said, there has been discussion about loading those UAVs with chemical or biological agents and steering them onto Israeli targets. The Mirsad-1 penetrated Israeli Air Defense on a test flight some time back. (http://www.isrjournal.com/story.php?F=792603)

The thing about World War 1 that is scary was that although it originated in the Balkans, the patrons of the initial combatants were world powers. It's not the proxies. It's the patrons.

7/14/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

As an addendum to my previous, does anyone know of any wargames that include similar scenarios? Namely action involving Israel and Lebanon, and possibly Syria as well.

7/14/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Pajamas Media has been a great resource.

From there, I found this:

Al Manar is reporting the Lebanese army is fighting an Israeli unit that landed on the Sidon beach.

If this is true, and the Lebanese army has joined the fighting, expect the entire country to unite against the Israeli attack.

7/14/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Quo vadis?

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.

7/14/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

That posting about the beach invasion is hours old, right? I think so but maybe I got confused. I remember reading a little clip hours ago that a Lebanese sentry saw someone in the surf, but they found no one.

7/14/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Call Amnesty International!

The IDF said early Saturday that a Hizbullah rocket hit a civilian ship.

7/14/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

fh:

I doubt there have been any in which Syria had to evaluate the potential of US "activities" on it's Eastern border. Of course the US also has to calculate how much time it can spend looking West from Iraq. Still, how will Syria resupply from Iran w/o encountering US, Turkish, or Israeli interdiction?

wretchard:
I guess that's my problem with the analogy, the patrons are too asymetrically matched. The US, if necessary, can deliver huge force multipliers in short time. Thinking of the "spare" Naval and AF capacity (though I have my doubts about any extra Army or Marine capacity for more than a week or two of operations), the calculus just doesn't work. I don't believe Iran will be involved in a shooting war in year 2006.

Like I said, making the US adventure as expensive as possible, I see the logic in. I think the Iranians would gladly see Lebanon and Syria destabilized to further divert US attention/resources.

7/14/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eddie would go.

7/14/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That was for wu's post:
Eddie is a surfing Legend in Hawaii.

7/14/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I think Wu Wei is on to something.

Debka believes it was hit with missiles. This make a some sense because missiles would fly at a much higher speed than UAVs. And, the Saar-5 Corvette does have significant radar coverage and AAA weapons.


Two rockets were fired, one missed, the second hit the vessel's helicopter landing pad. The ship carries a crew of 61 plus 10 helicopter personnel.

See: Debka, Crew missing

7/14/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Helprin said he would love to see the Iranians sink a ship in the straights:
Said it would take the US and Israeli Air Forces about
THIRTY FIVE MINUTES
to eliminate the Iranian Navy.

7/14/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Lebanese sentiment seems to have taken a decidedly " Plague on Both Your Houses" turn. A bad situation for all involved. Time for the the board to decide if we'd be willing to pay the price if Assad went down. Because it will be expensive, and make the situation messier short term.

A big gamble, but perhaps not undoable. Perhaps this time the Turks, Jordanians, and Egyptians could do the 'boots on the ground' part.

7/14/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One Missile in Israel Injured 8 people standing around Shimon Peres!

7/14/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

doug:

Completely OT, and not sarcastic, just wondering, has Debka been right on anything yet? They seem to be the Weekly World News of international affairs.

7/14/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Brett,

You mentioned Turkey. The Turkish dog has not barked so far during this crisis, not that I've noticed.

Where do the Turks stand on this? I know they don't work with Israel as much these days as they used to.

Anybody seen any Turkey-related data?

7/14/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

100 Hizballah installations destroyed in 1,000 Israeli air sorties.
Not a bad day's work, Allen.

7/14/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Great collection of Lebanese and Israeli bloggers at Truth Laid Bear. Definitely worth a look. They are the modern correspondents.

7/14/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger MOTR_Dude said...

Speaking of war games, one of the things that we have been told over and over again is that military action against Iran was impossible because every time the Pentagon ran war games they always ended up in some terrible regional war that would be deemed to be all our fault. Well, the regional war looks like it's coming anyway, sooooooooooo . . .

7/14/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Well, Helprin is nuts. It's not the Navy, it's the shore-based silk-worm (and equivalents) that would require a major operation. And, Gasoline would be $7.00/gal.

7/14/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Baron's appearance reminds me.
Don't miss his masterpiece,
Men of the North
Nice work, Baron!
Kerry's Purple Heart

7/14/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Baron B:

New Anatolian Op-Ed

Turkish Daily News

I have no idea as to the credibility or readership of either. However, the New Anatolian points this out:

"There are no ready-made answers to the questions aroused by the latest developments in the region. What should be expected of Turkey, a predominantly Sunni Muslim country with a government with Islamist credentials and enjoying grassroot support harboring strong anti-Israel sentiments but which recently improved its relations with the U.S. and also has close relations with Israel, is that it refrain from hasty statements and rushing inadvertently into mediation."

Looks like Turkey is pinched in the present. I was merely suggesting that if Assad should fall, I hope that the Turks, Jordanians, Egyptians, and perhaps even Iraqis would be invited in to be the 'face' of any nation-building. I believe I actually stole this idea from Desert Rat, who posted it on one of the earlier threads.

7/14/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Of course, it would give us an excuse for an all-out war with Iran. It might be worth it. Depends on how many beers I've had.

7/14/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If this escalates, then direct action between Israel and Iran can only be aerial and naval. However, proxy land attacks on Israel and US targets can be expected. But once that happens it escalates to a US-Iran war.

The Iranian naval threat consists of closing the Straits of Hormuz. Presumably the USN has long been preparing for this a long time. I hope. But given the ASM threat (against tankers, too which are have no defenses and are giant radar targets) it will probably be necessary to seize the Iranian coast. And then we'll get to see if the Iranians have a nuke. Sometimes I think they act like they do.

7/14/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

If they do we'll lose 5,000 - 10,000 Marines, but Iran will lose Qom and A Million Persians; and, the Iranian problem will be solved for another 30 years.

7/14/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Brett,

You're right about the constraints on Turkey. All of the Sunni governments of the region must feel the same kind of pressure: the Ikhwan in Egypt and Jordan, virtually anyone outside the Saud family in the KSA...

But the difference for Turkey is that it feels the pressure through a democratic process. When the Brotherhood gets uppity in Egypt, Mubarak can have them brutally crushed. It's not that simple in Turkey.

But I'm all in favor of democracy for the Arabs. Yes, it produces Hamas, but then we can see clearly what we have to deal with, and deal with it. Instead of the syrupy language of friendship, and always the knife hidden in the jalabiyah.

With Hamas and its ilk, the knife's always out in the open.

7/14/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link
This is a theory from Jerusalem Post about all the Jihadists are tied together.

7/14/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

rufus:

I believe you are at least a factor of 10 high when you estimate what the US would make Iran pay for 5-10K Marines. That's why it ain't worth it. Especially b/c we'd give it back, polished just as shiny as a turd can be polished in 5 years, to start the cycle over again.

7/14/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

doug; 6:05 PM

You are right, in a very real and important sense. But, installations can be rebuilt and, given the growing wealth of our Arab OPEC friends, will be in short order. However, I remain perplexed by the absence of big name Hezbollah dead, because leadership cannot be replenished by petrodollars, and certainly not in the short-term. Again, this failure to eliminate Hezbollah leadership causes me to question the seriousness of the Olmert government.

Finally, there can NEVER be anything approximating peace in the region as long as there are snakes in the grass. You may recall Eve’s error: she negotiated with the serpent, instead of killing the sucker straight away. Just saying.

7/14/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Interestingly enough, Turkey is the site of some of our most useful radar capabilities for detection of missiles coming from Iran.

The potential for small UAVs used for attacks is something that has been discussed for the past few years. In retrospect it is another USS Stark situation. Remarkable that the Captain did not at least have a couple of guys with night vision goggles and a .50 cal on watch. The same capability could have been useful against speedboats doing suicide attacks, ala USS Cole.

On the other hand, that ship was firing its guns at land targets and even a 5 incher has got be pretty unpleasant to stand anywhere near when it is firing.

7/14/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Hey Doug! Thanks for the links!

Silly English k-nights...

7/14/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger David_Levine said...

W: Meant to email you this earlier but had no time. This morning PDT, Fox News was reporting on Israeli naval ships leaving Haifa. Then, maybe 4 or 5 hours later, FOX and MSN reported Al Jazerra TV reports that Israel had lost 4 sailors and was looking for them. I checked Dow Jones and Reuters real time news feeds and saw nothing, nor on JPOST or Ha’aretz. Then Israel had the first reports of its ship being hurt, which they then changed to state the serious damage.
The thing about this reminds of posts months ago on Belmont and elsewhere about “reporters” breaking insurgent news in Iraq by being with the insurgents. What is interesting is what caused Al Qaeda, I mean Al Jazerra, to report the loss of Israeli soldiers? Were they monitoring Israeli signals? But what about codes? Or, were they with the Hez controllers of the UAV, or the spotters, or whatever. Maybe it’s all coincidence and all Al Jazerra were doing was reporting Hez chest-thumping.

7/14/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Wretchard,
President Bush knows, but will have confirmed tomorrow by Putin who the patron's are.
Putin will lie,dissemble, and continue to impliment his Soviet return to first chair, brass section.
Bush should smile shake hands and order a full scale strike on Syria, easily accomplished. Iraq will of course come unhinged and another 75,000 troops will hve to deploy.
B-1's from Diego Garcia, B-2 from Missouri will have to strike Iran. It will be WWIII and necessary. Islam is going to have to be left with only seeds enough to grow another population. It is us or them. India can dispose of Pakistan finally and check China which has massive unrest inland from the coast. A time to live and a time to die.

7/14/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Beertender. No more for Habu. He's declaring WWIII, again.

7/14/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Brett 6:31
I'd guess you're not a Marine, and I believe you're wrong.
I see Rufus' Qum and a million and raise him however many Iranian 7-11 operators there are here in the good old USA.
Marines kill people.

7/14/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Bar keep,
Set up my friend Rufus with a tequila shooter and a margarita, en la rockas, por favor.

7/14/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

W:
I judge from your comments that, in your thinking, if this thing continues to escalate, the logical conclusion is a US - Iran conflict.

That means Syria is finally confronted by Israel with support (not that they will need it but we can watch their backside from our perch in Iraq) from our installations in Iraq.

Lots of scenarios but if Iran presses on our (Iraq) right flank this thing could escalate very quickly.

I think everyone would agree that Iran has been active within Iraq but it has been mostly covert & downplayed by our coalition forces there.

Seems to me that it wouldn't take much more activity on their part to give US a green light in prosecuting a hot war.

7/14/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Ruf,
I figure if keep declaring it odds are I'll hit it one day. But you're probably right I should just shoot for the trifecta, Syria,Iran,NKorea....for now.

7/14/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

David,

You are referring to this Ynet article: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3275792,00.html


"The stern of the ship was hit shortly after 8:30 p.m. Friday night and a conflagration ignited on the helicopter landing pad. The hit also damaged the ship’s internal operating systems.



After the naval commanders managed to extinguish the blaze, they began a crew count, which revealed that four crewmembers were missing. Forces were carrying out extensive searches in the area to find the four. Reinforcements were called to the scene and were searching for the sailors under heavy enemy fire. "

Now this doesn't sound like it happened 16 km from the coast.

7/14/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

As for Aristides post regarding the Lebanese army fighting an Israeli unit - it make sense.

The Lebanese government is basically controlled by Hizbollah (and it's backers). The mask has fallen and Israel might as well make clean sweep of its enemies.

Isreal's Gillerman (representative to the UN) holds Lebanon's government completely responsible. So, from that perspective it no wonder why Israel and Lebanon are enemies.

[Gillerman to UN]

...Israel's complete withdrawal from southern Lebanon and its full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425 in a presidential statement on June 18th, 2000...

This was Lebanon's moment of truth. Would its government look inward and free its people from the stranglehold of terror, or would it allow its territory to become a base from which Hezbollah terrorists would launch attacks against Israeli civilians.

Tragically, Mr. President, the Lebanese government chose the latter.

...Let me emphasize this indisputable fact -- Israel's actions were in direct response to an act of war from Lebanon. Although Israel holds the government of Lebanon responsible, it is concentrating its response carefully, mainly on Hezbollah strongholds, positions and infrastructure.

The hundreds of Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon in the last few days demonstrate the magnitude of the immense arsenal of rockets and weapons that Hezbollah has amassed over the last few years
...

See: Gillerman's text via Vital Perspective

The Infidel Bloggers Alliance indicates that the Lebanese government is basically controlled by Hizbollah.

...Hizbollah, the largest political party in the Lebanese Parliament...


See: Infidel Bloggers Alliance

7/14/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Asher Abrams said...

As I'm sure Wretchard recalls, the Hezbollah has been testing its Mirsad-1 UAV drones against Israel since at least November 2004.

Mirsad-1 roundup.

7/14/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The story about the Lebanese Army vs IDF on Sidon beach is now reported by Lebanese Blogger (http://lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com/2006/07/iran-syria-axis-fully-materializing.html) as having been a search for suspected IDF frogmen believed to have landed. But none were apparently found.

7/14/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

It's true and it's not true: legally the Lebanese government is responsible for Hezbollah's actions. Yet in a practical sense, as the items discussed here show, the only way to control Hezbollah is to be able to stand up to it, Syria, and Iran militarily.

The last prominent Lebanese citizen to stand up to Syria was blown up in one of the biggest car bombs in history, which the UN has traced back to Syria.

So it is probably just as well that Syria throws its hat in the ring. Hezbollah will never be truly gone with the current Syrian government in power.

7/14/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hell, Habu, I'd settle for Iran. Ahmadingding's head on a stick. Nkors are good to keep around for shits and giggles. Besides they give us an excuse for continuing our missile defense program. No Democrat can kill it as long as Kim's Dong Fell is around.

We'll leave Syria to the Israeli's. They'll get around to it, eventually.

But, them damned Mullahs are costing me a fortune every time I gas up.

7/14/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Saudi Arabia has already said it won't support Hezbollah on the battle field. I wonder about Egypt and Jordan. I suspect their rulers would like to sit on the sidelines but would their citizens let them get away with it?

7/14/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Claudia Rossett has an article at the NRO describing the conviction of Tongsun Park for "conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in shaping the United Nations Oil-for-Food program."

Tongsun Park, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, United Nations, Oil-for-Food. All in one sentence, no pun intended.

7/14/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

100 lbs of explosive, about 20% of the payload of a Piper Cub.

We're back to "Cast a Giamt Shadow", with some role reversal?

There is a R/C airstrip right down the road, haven't seen any 20% the size of a Cub, but some come close.

Seems these Hezbollah fellas have ambushed and killed a main battle tank and sent one Israel's "Ships of the Line" back to port, under tow.

Any chance we can consider that these boys are not complete clowns, yet?

7/14/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Rufus,
I must say that your Iran now and let the rest twist in the wind a bit longer has a sweet tenor about it.
And I will testify about those gas prices. Amen.

Barkeep ..two more

7/14/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Asher Abrams said...

w -

* groooan *

7/14/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'll tell you, Dr; I'm afraid some people are going to be shocked when the IDF starts trying to advance through that IED Field called Southern Lebanon.

I'm sure they've gone to school on our Iraq experience, but it's going to be slow going, I'm afraid. And, slow going is deadly. Here's hoping they figure it out.

Habu and I are going to be out on the deck having a cold one; call us when the ground action starts.

7/14/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

All military powers underestimate the resourcefulness and the unexpected from lesser adversaries. In 1982, while monitoring British cables and intercepted reports from the Falklands to London, I was startled by the shocked British tone of the reports of the Destroyer "SHEFFIELD" sunk by Ecocet missiles and later the support ship "ATLANTIC CONVEYOR"; both sunk. The Destroyer "Glasgow" was damaged and the Frigate "Argonaut" damaged by UXB . The Frigate "ANTELOPE" and Destroyer "COVENTRY" sunk by bombs and frigate "Broadsword" damaged by UXB. The "SIR GALAHAD" and "Sir Tristram" severely damaged and the "Fearless" LCU F4 sunk by bombs. The British were stunned and the Americans shocked by the possibility of the Royal Navy being dismantled by Argentina. It did not compute.

Those in love with the fantrasy of war are often shocked by the stunning surreasitic violent reality and consequences of the unexpected. I am sure the Israelis were not prepared for the Hezbollah to be able to lay a glove on their modern warships. The experience of war often points to the value of more pacific solutions.

7/14/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

From a third of the World away from the Levant

"Forty-eight hours after bombs ripped through Mumbai, the needle pointed to Pakistan. Intelligence agencies on Thursday confirmed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was the “mastermind” of the blasts that killed about 200 people. ...

...The agencies, which briefed National Security Adviser MK Narayanan and Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi, said the blueprint for Tuesday’s blasts was made by the ISI while the “plan” was executed by “local Indian operatives”.

A senior intelligence officer said the synchronised explosions had the “hallmark” of an ISI operation. Militants operating in Kashmir were not capable of such meticulous planning and could only carry out fidayeen attacks or plant bombs in crowded places like markets.

“A lot of planning went into the blasts. This is typical of an ISI operation, as was revealed during the 1993 Bombay blasts,” said an officer.


The ISI, Pakistani Intelligence Service, founders of the Taliban.

War in Kashmere, it's not going to be at all fashionable. All the world's pimples comin' to a head, at once?

Thanks to Captain Ed and Steve @ Threatswatch, for the link, not the zits.

7/14/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I could toggle back and forth between 24 tonight and fox news and noticed for the first time that the pace of events in the middle east and elsewhere as related by fox news and other stations has reached the speed of 24

7/14/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

U.S. Reaches Deal With Kyrgyzstan for Continued Use of Air Base

7/14/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The Egyptians sank the Israeli destroyer Eliat in June, 1967. And as mentioned in the main post, the IDF was almost totally blindsided by Egypt's Saggers and integrated air defense. Israel lost about 200 fixed wing aircraft over 20 days of combat, most of them in the first few. Their ELINT outpost on Mt. Hermon was taken by Syrian commandos. The Golan was nearly taken by Syrian armor with night vision equipment. The Israelis had none.

The IDF has weak spots. Every military does. Hence, it tries to force the battlefield into its strong suit. When they do that they become very good indeed. So far the IDF has been using observed fires. I expect that they are using a lot of UAV technology. A lot of precision weapons.

But in the end, the IDF will probably have to send men into Southern Lebanon. A lot of armor; and lot of arty reported in the press. I wonder what its tactical employment will be. Or even if Hezbollah, which has no armor or mechanized forces, is the real center of gravity.

The real interesting question for me is how do the Hezbollah, Syrians and Iranians want to fight this? How do the Israelis plan on fighting it?

7/14/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's something to consider, Allen:
Hizballah Declares 'Open War' After HQ Strike

But, with an un-uniformed enemy such as Hizballah and their Iranian IRGC mentors – a sort of Blue Jean Brigades – who is to distinguish between innocent civilians and Hizballah in plain clothes among the dead? Observers should consider that here have been no figures released on Hizballah deaths at the hands of a highly precise Israeli military.

7/14/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So ’ere’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your ’ome in the Soudan;
You’re a pore benighted ’eathen but a first-class fightin’ man;...

... We took our chanst among the Khyber ’ills,
The Boers knocked us silly at a mile,
The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
An’ a Zulu impi dished us up in style:
But all we ever got from such as they
Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
We ’eld our bloomin’ own, the papers say,
But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us ’oller.

Then ’ere’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an’ the missis and the kid;
Our orders was to break you, an’ of course we went an’ did.
We sloshed you with Martinis, an’ it wasn’t ’ardly fair;
But for all the odds agin’ you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square. ...

... ’E rushes at the smoke when we let drive,
An’, before we know, ’e’s ’ackin’ at our ’ead;
’E’s all ’ot sand an’ ginger when alive,
An’ ’e’s generally shammin’ when ’e’s dead.
’E’s a daisy, ’e’s a ducky, ’e’s a lamb!
’E’s a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
’E’s the on’y thing that doesn’t give a damn
For a Regiment o’ British Infantree! ...

... An’ ’ere’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your ’ayrick ’ead of ’air—
You big black boundin’ beggar—for you broke a British square!

A little Mr Kipling seemed apt

Technology is not always enough to make it easy.

7/14/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> All military powers underestimate the resourcefulness and the unexpected from lesser adversaries

I've been trying to figure out what Hezbollah's surprise attack on Haifa will be.

Of course it could simply be rockets, but they've already launched one and those are expected so that wouldn't be a surprise. The Towel Head sounded like something else was coming:

"I will not tell you any more. If you hit the suburbs or Beirut, we will hit Haifa," he said. "We are going to an open war, to Haifa and beyond Haifa.

"We will not be the only ones who will lose their children and houses," he added


He could target something nasty like a chemical or nuke plant, but Israel would have thought of that and the warhead probably wouldn't have enough explosive (but a drone?) They could go chemical in the war head, but somehow I doubt that, it is just nasty, not clever.

I mean that's the whole point, he's trying to win sympathy like yesterday when he used the drone against the Israeli ship. Breaking the rudder on one ship and killing four sailors won't win the war, but it could make it harder for other Arab countries to not support him.

7/14/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Wretchard, if your goal is to put an end to the rocket assault from the North, you have to be able to take, and hold, the territory. If that is untenable, you have to find a surrogate.

Perhaps, they are planning on clearing the area and turning it over to the Lebanese Army.

7/14/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

habu:

No offense meant to the Marines. I have no doubt that left to define their own ROE, rufus would be right.

Let us say that I doubt that the US leadership would allow 1M Iranian casualties without a WMD going off prior.

That was the point of the rest of my post. I've no doubt that the Marines would pay their part. But I am certain that we waste that sacrifice. And I prefer the Marines not die by the thousands and do Gulf War III in 2015.

7/14/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Hugo Chavez has said that the US support for Israel is putting the world on course toward another Holocaust, according to AP. It's gonna be an interesting weekend, and a painful one.

If this conflict escalates, and there's every prospect it will, there more than enough sadness to go around. In the Middle East and in the West. A thread runs through the Cole, September 11 and Lebanon. Where it runs into the future I don't know.

7/14/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

That's what I said in another thread, that the Lebanon casualty figures sounded like they were made up by Baghdad Bob, that Iraqi spokesman who kept saying no US troops were in Baghdad. I mean day after day Lebanon keeps saying that Israel kills only women and children. One would think that by luck if nothing else they'd eventually hit an enemy soldier.

7/14/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Seeing the comments of each country, how divided they are, I'm starting to think there is no choice but to fight. There's no middle ground. Every country is locked in their position. So many of them demonize the US and Israel because of Hezbollah's terrorism.

It's not only Islamists though. The communists run with the Islamists, revolutionaries together. Some Arab countries would side with us. But it does seem to be two sides.

7/14/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

US ratios in Iraq and Somolia combat ran about 80 to 1 in ground operations.
There have been few of those, yet, but the Israeli have about 12 KIA in the combined Gaza and Lebanon raids and countrstrikes.

Manimum combined enemy KIA would be around 900. But those killed in the 2 initial raids were not traded at a high ratio. That leaves the tank crew, hit by a mechanical ambush, as per Iraq, low trade value. Perhaps another one or two Israeli lost, outside the Sailors.

Probable Terrorist losses, under 300.

7/14/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Brett, my post was written in response to Wretchard's musing that our taking of the coast of Hormuz (it would, almost certainly, be Marines) would lead to our finding out if Iran, indeed, had nukes. The implication being, of course, that they would be used on our Marines.

I assumed that one nuke going off in these circumstances would probably take out somewhere around the number of Marines I stated. I assumed that the U.S. response (not the Marines') would be to Nuke Qom, the Dept of Defense, and a couple of major military installations.

7/14/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

....and the first number chosen by the Selective Service is A-170564329.....

7/14/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That'd get those boys back in the colleges.

7/14/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Dedicated Matriculators, they would become. They would "See the Light."

7/14/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Deferment, we ain't grantin' no stinkin' deferments.

It's Lotto Days!
Win or Lose on a spin of the barrel and the bounce of the token.

7/14/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

rufus:

I get it, now. Yes. That does make sense. God save us, though, because the world will go sideways. That kind of disruption is going to shake loose a whole lot of shit in a whole lot of areas. Korea & Venezuela will get stupid, and the US will be busy enough that we can't 'kid glove' all of these things.

7/14/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard,

I will wager that Israel bypasses Lebanon, hooks right, suppresses Damascus, and...

Sites a combat airfield in the eastern appendage of Syria...

Why...

Look at this: 'Post which includes a map of Iranian WMD research, production, and launching sites...'

That map comes directly from GlobalSecurity.org: 'Iran Special Weapons Facilities'.

7/14/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

rufus,

If they have one or two nukes (which they bought, they haven't built one themselves yet) they're not going to use them on a few marines. They're going to put them on a warhead and fire it at Tel Aviv or going to send it on a ship to Washington or New York. They're ruled by the Arab way of war, which calls for revenge over pretty much everything else. They keep saying they love death more than life. Maybe it's true.

I assume that if they do use a nuke against any target, US or otherwise, the US will be forced to use one or more nukes against them. The US can't afford to have rogue states running around nuking other countries.

7/14/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hey, come to think of it; the Sixties weren't half-bad. The Music, pretty co-eds putting out, Pot!

When I got out, I went to school and cruised the "Peace Rallies." It was the nuts. "Yeah, baby, it's a terrible thing, war, want a hit?" I'm an environmentalist, myself. Have I ever told you about the great three-toed horned owl? Yeah, we're protesting Monsanto, next week. Want another hit? I wouldn't wear a bra, either. Want another titty, er, hit?

Yeah, that was a "good" war.

7/14/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I don't know, UP; if I only had a couple of nukes, I would maybe use them against an invading force that was threatening my ability to build more. My thinking would be that once they saw I already had nukes they might back off. Besides, at that point it would definitely be "use'm or lose'm time."

The problem with shooting them at Tel Aviv is they might get shot down. Probably would. Then what?

Of course, I would have ditched that whole Islamo-Fascist Loser Bullshit a long time, ago, anyway. So what do I know?

7/14/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You'd give up them Nukes for some Campus N....., you traitor!
Campus Camp-pies!

7/14/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

aristides was correct.

Actions taken in Lebanon are not enough - and getting sucked in for any extensive ground operation in the south is a bad deal. Israel ought to be seeking individual targets in Syria, Iran and elsewhere. It's time for people to start turning up dead outside of Lebanon.

7/14/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, I think you're right, Doug. I think I got drunk. It, surely, wouldn't be the same this time around.

Mostly cause I'm SIXTY DAMNED FRIGGIN YEARS "OLD!"

Crap!

7/14/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

rufus,

if I only had a couple of nukes, I would maybe use them against an invading force that was threatening my ability to build more.

Maybe, it's of course hard to know. Most of the nukes that were ever made though were intended to be used against cities, not military forces. Think megatons, not the kilotons that were used in Japan. If they have some kind of tactical nukes or some home-brew weapon, which probably won't work, then you may be right. I'm guessing they would rather buy something bigger.

They must know that if they use any kind of nuke against US forces it's game over for them anyway, deterrence time is past, so using it against their preferred target is where they would most likely aim.

The problem with shooting them at Tel Aviv is they might get shot down. Probably would. Then what?

Nobody ever said they were smart. Clever, sneaky, SOBs, Yes. Smart, ??? These are guys who fire their AKs and pray to Allah that the bullets will find their target. Didn't you read their press releases after their last war games? They have some super-duper super-secret missiles that are invisible to radar.

One of the big problems with dealing with the Arabs, (and Iran) is that they believe their own propaganda.

At any rate, no one knows what the Arrow will really do, and no one knows what the Mullahs will really do.

7/14/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

RWE - In retrospect it is another USS Stark situation. Remarkable that the Captain did not at least have a couple of guys with night vision goggles and a .50 cal on watch.

Maybe against a UAV a topside watch with a machine gun might have given some warning and an infinitesmal chance, assuming they see the UAV, which is almost never the case in our experience whacking Islamoids in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Against an Exocet-type missile? No way is a guy with binoculars and a machine gun would ever stop it. Head on a wavetop level or in "top down" Harpoon attack mode, visible profile is about the size of a child's beachball - invisible from 600 feet away. Bitch of it is they go at 806 feet per second.
============================
Desert Rat - Seems these Hezbollah fellas have ambushed and killed a main battle tank and sent one Israel's "Ships of the Line" back to port, under tow.

Any chance we can consider that these boys are not complete clowns, yet?


People notice their murderous, irrational rage and assume they must be stupid to be that way. Nope. This is a very intelligent and adaptive foe. Any high tech American gear they can pry off dead US bodies, out of crashes, dud JDAMs - they do, and send to Iran, China, other interested parties for analysis and perhaps putting a counter into the field. Their people are happily sampling the tactics and comms the US and Israel use - while we have had some successes, a big part of this 4 1/2 year long war is understanding and eroding US technological edge, developing precision munitions, evolving tactics, learning how to make each encounter with the Marines a little deadlier on the Americans.

Hidden combatants in America learn what is the focus of protection in terror alerts, attempt to watch to learn force strength and police tactics employed.

Experience. And the Jihadis have many customers and tacit supporters that also hope to diminish the US military edge in critical areas. China, Iran, the NORKs, Russia, France as weapons vendor nation..

And their own indigenous technical base is growing. 30 years ago, it was almost unheard of to have Nuclear, Virological PhDs in Arab countries. Now there are many thousands - along with an explosion in Muslims with advanced engineering, computer apps degrees.

The German commanders who fought us in Africa then later at the Bulge said America had learned and adapted so much in 2 1/2 years they had gone from Caselrine gun fodder to being almost as good, man-for-man, as the Germans.

An argument against a Long War.

7/14/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I wouldn't get too carried away, Cedarford. We'll just start looking for heat signatures. It's a simple fix, really.

Tying a couple of pounds of gunpowder to a big model airplane ain't exactly cutting edge technology. The Israeli's should have been looking out for it. They got careless.

7/14/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Quote from http://www.armscontrol.ru/UAV/mirsad1.htm:

According to the same source, Iran supplied Hezbollah with 8 such drones, and over the past two years some 30 Lebanese operatives have undergone training at Revolutionary Guards' bases near Isfahan to fly similar aircraft. Israeli press also reported that the wingspan of "Mirsad 1" UAV is about 3 m[eters], and its fuselage length is 2.9 m[eters].


From http://www.securitywatchtower.com:
A second UAV attack struck a civilian vessel, reported to be Egyptian.

In evaluating the significance of the alleged Hizb’ollah attack using a remotely-piloted flyer, it’s worth considering the details that must have been involved:

• The range of the flyer (fuel/range/payload)
• Intelligence on the target’s movements, which must be presumed to have been beyond the horizon of any mere thugs ashore
• Piloting of the UAV in its deployed condition (i.e., with ordnance & fuel) would have required considerable practice, as its flight characteristics would likely be substantially different from those of just a camera platform. Even though the vehicle does not have to survive, it has to be flown accurately, and its flight profile probably was low altitude. This is not so forgiving as a video game, in which the physics of flight can be glossed over.

Seems to me this is operation has to be a well-funded program with at least the full cooperation of a government, not the ad-hoc stunt of some piss-ant terrorist bullies. It required much more than just the piloting of a remotely-controlled flyer, which in itself requires storage and flight operations facilities, albeit less conspicuous than for piloted craft. It would have required specific, up-to-the-minute knowledge of the movements and position of a warship in international waters, which speaks of a sophisticated array of radar, airborne, or satellite observational capability, and the knowledge base required to identify & track one target out of whatever other surface ships would have been in the Mediterranean at night.

You might want to check these two sites as well:

http://www.iran-airshow.com
Persian Gulf Iran Kish Air Show
coming 24 Nov. — 1 Dec 2006

http://www.hesaco.com/sanjaghak/index.htm

7/14/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

By the way, this might be the situation that finally shows us just what the Syrians learned when they sent a passenger jet full of army chemical weapons specialists to assist the Kharthoum government in their genocidal attacks on the Black African Animists and Christians in Darfur. You might remember that the German magazine “Der Spiegel” reported on that about September of 2004. That item was pretty studiously ignored by the American alleged News Media at the time. And of course, the reason it was not pursued was that it would have tended to support the allegations that Syria had accepted delivery in 2003 of the great mass of Iraqi WMD, with the massive assistance of Iraq’s enablers from Russia, in the months before the U.S. initiated its invasion.

And I have to ask... Since WHEN does the Palestinian Authority have ANY technology for over-the-horizon tracking of surface ships?

This is bullshit on a grand scale.

7/15/2006 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

A later update from CNN:

The IDF added that the ship was attacked by a missile and not by a drone packed with explosives, as reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

7/15/2006 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Israel: Rockets Hit Tiberias
July 15, 2006 1048 GMT
Rockets hit the Israeli town of Tiberias on July 15, marking the deepest hit into Israeli territory since the beginning of the conflict. (Stratfor)

7/15/2006 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Habu, Rufus,

No oil shares?

I'd like to see the Mullahs bombed out of business, but it's good to be hedged against Meanwhile Chaos.

7/15/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

As we all know now the Iranians are up to their necks in this missile attack on the Hait (one of only 3 Corvette class ships Israel has). That is a significant loss (and significant attack arraigned by Iranian forces). I would think some type of accident might occur to some Iranian ships or other assets.


...elite Iranian troops assisted Hizbullah in firing a radar-guided missile at the INS Hanit (Spear) stationed off the Lebanese coast on Friday. The C-802 missile struck the ship… The C-802 missiles, a senior Military Intelligence officer said Saturday, were made in China but upgraded by Iran, which had made improvements to the radar-guided system and delivered it to Hizbullah. Senior naval officers admitted Saturday night that they were taken completely by surprise by the missile attack, claiming that they did not know that Hizbullah possessed such advanced capabilities. The missile has a 100-kilometer range...

See: JPost

7/15/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

War by half-measures only prolongs, deepens, and multiplies the conflict. The Israelis need to bring it all to bear upon this enemy. Iran thinks it is going to get away with this BECAUSE ITS ENEMIES ARE ALWAYS, THROUGH BLUFFING AND TOUGH TALK FROM TEHRAN, or by their assiduous cultivation of world opinion, forced to back down. They see this kind of pattern repeated, ad nauseam, and assume, correctly, that their malfeasance cannot be stopped.

They must be disabused of that notion. Failing to accomplish that, we will indeed see the Devil to pay in a horrific butcher's bill in the form of a global conflict. Iran's sponsors will, in some way, insert themselves into the conflict. I might add, this is probably what the Chicoms and the North Koreans are waiting for: for us to truly be bogged down elsewhere and our Pacific forces drawn down. Still, if Israel and its allies fail in this fight we are all at peril. It will certainly embolden Russia, whose sponsorship of Iran is rather obvious at this point.

7/15/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

So, as expected, it's a PRC Silkworm-type, imported by Iran, and shipped to and operated in Lebanon, probably by Iranians.

Which preparation renders moot all talk that Israel (by next week it will be US) is the cause of all this unpleasantness. Our mutual enemies were obviously preparing for modern war against major military targets.

The best news is that the Islamofascists believe Adminjehad, American MSM and Democrat politicians who tell them we and our allies are too bogged down to do anything. They have entered the arena of modern warfare. We and the Israelis should keep the play in that arena as long as possible, our experiments in occupation are done. The Israelis ended theirs long ago. It's war they want, it's war they are going to get.

NOT fighting back is NOT peace.

7/16/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger abe90 said...

I doubt it was a drone that attacked the ship.

You could clearly see on news that it was a fast lighting dot in the middle of night moving really fast and exploding. I doubt that a drone would move 16km in just a few seconds, eh?

Just another propaganda!

8/20/2007 03:00:00 AM  

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