Iran fails to launch satellite into orbit amid US warnings – TV7 Israel News 16.01.19 

Posted January 17, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

 

 

Satellite images show demolished Iranian site 

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Satellite images show demolished Iranian site – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Weapons storehouse at Damascus airport was struck by Israel last week.

BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
 JANUARY 15, 2019 13:42
Iranian missile warehouse destroyed, Damascus International Airport

New satellite images of an Iranian weapons storehouse at the Damascus International Airport showed the complete destruction of the site following Israeli airstrikes on Friday.

Released by the Israeli satellite company ImageSat International, one image taken before the strikes showed a structure that measured 20 by 50 meters and was later missing, leaving three craters where the compound once stood.

According to ImageSat, the structure was likely used as a missile storehouse, including the Fajr-5, which can be launched from a mobile platform and has a reported range of 75 kilometers.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed reports that the airstrike was carried out by the Israel Air Force on Friday, saying that Israel has carried out hundreds of attacks against Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

“The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi denied that Tehran had any military bases or military presence in Syria, denying claims made by Netanyahu and former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gadi Eisenkot that Israel has struck hundreds of Iranian targets in Syria over the past two years.

“The Zionist War Ministry’s comments are baseless, false, misleading and is an attempt to justify their ongoing failures in the region,” Qasemi was quoted as saying by Iran’s official news agency, IRNA. He added that “the Zionists always spread lies and embark on psychological warfare to achieve their evil goals in the region. Iranian officials are in Syria strictly for consultation purposes. The Syrian government invited us in order to advise them on methods with which to fight terrorism.”

On Tuesday morning, at the ceremony marking the appointment of incoming IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Netanyahu warned Tehran to leave Syria.

“I’m telling you, get out of there fast. We won’t stop attacking,” he said.

Syria’s SANA state news agency said that Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles toward the Damascus area on Friday, triggering Syrian air defenses that shot most of them down.

“At 11:15 before midnight, Israeli warplanes coming from the Galilee area launched several missiles towards the surroundings of Damascus and our air defenses immediately intercepted them and downed most of them,” a military source was quoted by SANA as saying, adding that there were no casualties in the strikes, rather only “material damage to one of the ammunition warehouses.”

In late December, an Israeli strike against another Iranian weapons storehouse outside Damascus was completely destroyed. The storehouse also supposedly held Fajr-5 missiles in the Syrian regime’s 4th Division camp in the Al-Muna area.

 

Report: U.S. Army acquires two Iron Dome batteries 

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Report: U.S. Army acquires two Iron Dome batteries – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

“The Iron Dome system provides the best value for the US military in terms of the timetable for its acquisition and deployment,” the US report said.

BY CASSANDRA GOMES-HOCHBERG
 JANUARY 16, 2019 14:57
Report: U.S. Army acquires two Iron Dome batteries

The US Army will acquire two Iron Dome batteries by 2020 as well as consider the full adoption of the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2-Intercept, both systems developed by Israel, Inside Defense reported Wednesday.

The Iron Dome batteries will provide US ground forces an interim capability against unmanned air vehicles, mortars, rockets, artillery and cruise missiles.

The US Army has been working to transform the Israeli interceptor into an American system to defend forward-deployed US forces since 2017.

The US Army has performed tests to evaluate which missile system would best serve this purpose.

Rafael Advanced Defense System’s Iron Dome came before systems by Boeing and General Dynamics Land Systems’ specially armed Stryker vehicles.

According to a congressional document reported by Yediot Ahronot, the US military sought to invest U$289.7 million for the current fiscal year and another U$83.8 million for the next fiscal year for the system’s integration. In addition, the US Army requested U$ 1.6 billion until 2024 for Iron Dome’s full integration.

“The Iron Dome system provides the best value for the US military in terms of the timetable for its acquisition and deployment,” the US report said.

The system will be fully produced in the United States by Rafael as a subcontractor and Raytheon, Rafael’s US partner for the system’s production.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report. 

 

Report: American soldiers killed in Islamic State attack in Syria 

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Report: American soldiers killed in Islamic State attack in Syria – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Amaq, a news site linked to Islamic State, said a suicide attacker with an explosive vest struck an international coalition patrol in the city on Wednesday.

BY REUTERS
 JANUARY 16, 2019 14:26
Report: American soldiers killed in Islamic State attack in Syria

A blast struck near a US-led coalition patrol in Syria’s northern Manbij on Wednesday, a witness and the Manbij Military Council militia that holds the town said.

The witness said a suicide attacker had targeted the patrol and the militia group said on Facebook that there was preliminary information of injuries.

Reuters could not independently verify a report by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that 14 people had been killed in the attack including two U.S. soldiers. The coalition could not be immediately reached for comment.

Amaq, a news site linked to Islamic State, said a suicide attacker with an explosive vest struck an international coalition patrol in the city on Wednesday.

Two witnesses described Wednesday’s blast to Reuters. The US-backed, Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council militia that controls the town said there was preliminary information that people had been injured in Wednesday’s attack.

Manbij has been held by US-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since they took it from Islamic State in 2016. It is located near areas held by Russian-backed Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad fighters backed by Turkey.

One of the witnesses said there was a “heavy” presence of military aircraft over Manbij following the blast, which took place near a vegetable market.

 

‘Israel may need to invade Iran to stop its entrenchment in Syria’ 

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: ‘Israel may need to invade Iran to stop its entrenchment in Syria’ – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

That “whole case” scenario is also the worst case scenario. The report also broke down the threats individually, and ranked them according to their severity.

BY HERB KEINON
 JANUARY 16, 2019 13:02
Iranian armed forces members march during the annual military parade in Tehran

Israel needs to prepare for the possibility that its battle to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria may have to be expanded to Lebanon or to Iran directly, according to an assessment by the Institute for National Security (INSS).

That is one of the recommendations that appeared in INSS’s Strategic Assessment for Israel 2018-2019 that was released and rolled out by the Tel Aviv-based think tank at a ceremony at Beit Hanasi on Wednesday.

“Israel maintains a very strong basic deterrent against security challenges that are below the threshold of the war,” according to the report. “ At the same time, most of the fronts facing Israel are very volatile: Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. In all three, despite the existence of mutual deterrence between the sides, there is a potential for escalation of a broad confrontation and a general war, more than one front at a time.”

According to the report, the most serious threat facing Israel in 2019 would be an all out war in the north – The First Northern War – that would include Iran, Hezbollah and Syria. Such a confrontation would also likely spill over to the south, and Israel would additionally find itself battling the terrorist organizations from the Gaza Strip.

This “whole case” scenario, according to the report, “is a possibility that Israel must be prepared for.”

That “whole case” scenario is also the worst case scenario. The report also broke down the threats individually, and ranked them according to their severity.

“As for the threats, there is an inverse relationship between the severity of the threat and its degree,” the report read. In terms of severity, it listed the threats in the following order: the Iranian nuclear program, Hezbollah, Iran’s activities in the northern arena, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

But in terms of urgency, the report read, it is precisely the situation in Gaza that is liable to escalate in the immediate future, more than in other arenas.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear program, the report asserted that US President Donald Trump is adopting a “tough policy” toward the Islamic Republic and has made getting it to alter its behavior in the Middle East a central component of US foreign policy because this behavior harms US strategic interests and and America’s chief allies: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the assessment asserted that “it is important to understand that the United States is focusing its efforts on Iran on the diplomatic and economic levels and is not ready for a military confrontation.” This reluctance to get into a military confrontation in the Mideast was “clearly exposed,” the authors of the report said, by Trump’s recent decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

The report recommended that Israel work at reaching clear understandings with the US regarding intelligence sharing and deterrence efforts vis-a-vis Iran, defining clear redlines in case Iran stops complying with the 2015 nuclear agreement, and preparing a joint diplomatic and military plan to stop Iran if it crosses the redlines.

“In view of Trump’s departure from the nuclear agreement and the possibility that Iran will resume its nuclear activities, the defense budget and Israel’s deployment and force buildup should enable operational readiness for a move against a nuclear Iran,” the report read. “There is also a need for understandings with the United States, according to which if a new version of the nuclear agreement is formulated, the compromises required to formulate it will not harm Israel’s interests.”

Regarding Hezbollah, the report recommended that Israel continue to systematically prevent the transfer of high-quality weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, as long as the strategic conditions allow it. In addition, Israel must prepare itself for action against the precision missiles in Lebanon and the technological infrastructure for their production.

“Iranian support for Hezbollah’s power buildup in Lebanon is not new, but the quality of the weapons transferred over the past two years to Hezbollah is worrisome,” the report read. “The main sources of concern for Israel are the project to convert inaccurate missiles and rockets into precision missiles, to improve Hezbollah’s air defense capabilities, and to supply long-range sea-to-sea missiles to the organization.”

The report said Israel’s efforts against Iran’s “precision-missile project” in Lebanon will take place under different and more complex conditions than in Syria in recent years.

“Since the Second Lebanon War (2006) there has been a mutual deterrence balance between Israel and Hezbollah, in which the two sides understand that military action on the other side’s territory will cause a major conflagration that could cause serious damage to both,” the report read. It stated that Israel’s recent actions against Hezbollah tunnels demonstrated to the organization Israel’s intelligence superiority and its determination to thwart its aggressive efforts..

Regarding Iran’s efforts at entrenching itself in Syria, the report stated that “for the time being” Israel can continue to base its campaign on  preventing  this on its intelligence superiority and its “various offensive precision capabilities.”

At the same time, the report said, “Israel must also be prepared for the possibility that the war will expand to Lebanon or Iran directly. The process of rehabilitation of the Syrian army has already begun, and it is liable to lead to a greater assertiveness of the regime against the actions of the Israeli Air Force in Syrian skies.  Every effort should be made to avoid a clash with the Russian forces there.”

The time has come, according to the report, “to weigh additional operational possibilities.”

Regarding Hamas, the report said that Israel needs to prepare an operational plan for delivering Hamas’ military wing a quashing blow, without intending to re-occupy the Gaza Strip.

“The military wing of Hamas has not suffered a severe blow in the three rounds of conflict between the organization and Israel over the past decade, and it is important that it – and not the [Gaza] population – pay the price in the event of a confrontation,” the report said.

The report put the likelihood of military confrontation in the south as “extremely high” in 2019.  It listed the main reasons for this as the ongoing deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip, the pressure exerted by the Palestinian Authority on Hamas in Gaza, and the erosion of Israel’s deterrence during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

As to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report said that this “has been and remains Israel’s fundamental problem in its relations with its neighbors in the region and with the international community. The Trump government’s initiative for the ‘deal of the century’ is being delayed, and the rupture between the American administration and the Palestinians will make it difficult to advance the process. However, the United States and the pragmatic Sunni Arab world will expect an Israeli move that will renew confidence in Israel’s good intentions.”

 

Revolutionary Guards commander warns Israel Iran will retaliate for Syria

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Revolutionary Guards commander warns Israel Iran will retaliate for Syria – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

IRCG commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said PM Benjamin Netanyahu should not play with the “lion’s tail.”

BY ILANIT CHERNICK
 JANUARY 16, 2019 14:40
Revolutionary Guards commander warns Israel Iran will retaliate for Syria strikes

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned Israel to “fear the day when Iranian precision missiles hit you and take revenge of all the blood of oppressed Muslims which you have shed.”

The tit-for-tat comes after comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Israel would continue striking Syria so long as Iranian forces remain in the country.

“I’m telling you, get out of there fast. We won’t stop attacking,” he said on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mehr News Agency reported Jafari as saying that Netanyahu’s threat was “ridiculous,” stressing that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will keep all its military and revolutionary advisers in Syria,” as well as “equipment and weapons” with which it aims to “train and empower Islamic Resistance forces and support oppressed people of the country.

“Be sure, we do not take into account your ridiculous threats,” the Iranian commanded said. “You know that if we have chosen to wait against your hostile measures, some considerations lies behind it.”

“Don’t play with the lion’s tail,” Jafari added.

On Sunday, Netanyahu revealed that Israel had hit an Iranian arms cache at Damascus Airport during recent airstrikes in Syria.
“Israel attacked an Iranian armory at the Damascus International Airport, that reflects our determination to stop Iran’s military buildup in Syria, and we will strike harder in Syria if needed,” he said while visiting Israel’s northern border.

On Friday night, Israel reportedly struck a number of Iranian and Hezbollah military targets in Syria. Sources in the Syrian opposition reported at the time that the Israeli Air Force attacked bases belonging to Iranian militias and Assad’s regime forces southwest of Damascus.

Meanwhile, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said his country would attempt to launch another satellite in the coming months after the country’s failed attempt last week. Netanyahu claimed on Tuesday that this was a failed attempt to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile rather than a satellite.

Uri Bollag contributed to this report.

 

Iran says it will keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats 

Posted January 16, 2019 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Iran says it will keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats – Israel Hayom