Archive for September 4, 2019

Israeli News IDF fakes casualties in Islamic Hezbollah Lebanon Conflict update September 2019 

September 4, 2019

 

 

Why was Nasrallah let off the hook? The IDF exposed – but did not bomb – the Iranian precise missile plant in Lebanon – DEBKAfile

September 4, 2019

Source: Why was Nasrallah let off the hook? The IDF exposed – but did not bomb – the Iranian precise missile plant in Lebanon – DEBKAfile

Who decided to let Hizballah get away with a rocket attack on the Israeli military on Sunday, Sept. 1? IDF retaliation was impressive. But the heavy smoke blanketing wide fields of south Lebanon concealed the fact that the IDF had shelled empty fields, well away from Hizballah bases or manpower. Similarly, when the military spokesman reported an Israeli air strike against the Hizballah rocket launch squad, no one was hurt.

The same policy appears to have been applied to the production in Lebanon of precision missiles, despite the dire threats of destruction coming from Israel’s leaders. On Tuesday night, Sept. 3, the IDF made a big show of discovering a secret Iranian-Hizballah factory upgrading surface rockets to precise missiles at Nebi Shait in the Lebanese Beqaa valley. While displaying a detailed diagram showing the inside workings of the factory, the IDF spokesman omitted to explain why it was still standing and not destroyed. And although the military spokesman could tell reporters that the valuable production equipment was being dismantled and transported to hidden storage sites, he left unanswered the question of why the trucks carrying the equipment were not bombed in transit.

These unanswered questions lead to the conclusion that Israel has desisted from offensive operations against Hizballah in Lebanon ever since its drone attack of Aug. 24 on the Dahya suburb of Beirut. Demonstrating the existence of a missile conversion factory in Lebanon to prove Hassan Nasrallah’s denials were false was no big deal. After all, he never took any prizes for telling the truth.

Could the IDF be pulling its punches to avoid an all-out war with casualties in the short time left before the Sept. 17 general election? Or do Israel’s government and military leaders trust that the information they release will scare the Lebanese people into leaning hard on Hizballah to shut down its missile upgrade project? That would be naïve; trusting ordinary people to rise up against brutal leaders has never worked in the Gaza Strip and is unlikely to work in Lebanon. And, moreover, that policy has the dangerous side-effect of leaving the initiative for violence in the hands of the enemy. Israel’s conduct this week has already given Hizballah valuable information: he understands that he can safely continue to upgrade his rocket arsenal.

 

Trolling Hezbollah chief, IDF assures him it didn’t forget his birthday 

September 4, 2019

Source: Trolling Hezbollah chief, IDF assures him it didn’t forget his birthday | The Times of Israel

Amid tensions on the border, army highlights arms Iran and Syria send terror group, saying best gift for people of Lebanon would be would be freedom from Nasrallah

Supporters of the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah react with clenched fists as they watch a speech by the movement's leader Hasan Nasrallah, transmitted on a large screen in the Lebanese capital Beirut's southern suburbs on September 2, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Supporters of the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah react with clenched fists as they watch a speech by the movement’s leader Hasan Nasrallah, transmitted on a large screen in the Lebanese capital Beirut’s southern suburbs on September 2, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday reassured Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, that it had not forgotten his birthday, even if his best friends in Iran and Syria had.

A tweet from the IDF mocking Nasrallah and his patrons came after days of tensions on the northern border.

“It was Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah’s birthday on Saturday and he thought no one remembered,” the IDF tweeted, adding: “Don’t worry, we did!”

The tweet featured an animated mock WhatsApp conversation between Nasrallah, Syrian dictator Bashaar Assad and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, with the title “You forgot My birthday.”

Israel Defense Forces

@IDF

It was Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah’s birthday on Saturday and he thought no one remembered…

Don’t worry, we did! 🥳

In the conversation they apologize and say they were a bit busy in recent days.

Soleimani again apologizes, saying that some of the gifts he sent did not arrive, an apparent reference to the IDF intercepting and destroying arms shipments.

He then lists the weapons systems he is trying to send, while Nasrallah demands precision-guided missiles. “That’s the gift I want most,” he says.

The clip ends with a call to stop arming Hezbollah. “The people of Lebanon deserve a gift, freedom from Hezbollah,” it says.

In recent years the @IDF Twitter account has begun to adopt the vocabulary of social media, using language, memes and, notably, snark in a way that is uncommon for large government-run institutions, racking up 1 million followers in the process.

Earlier Tuesday the IDF announced that it had identified a facility in southern Lebanon being used by Hezbollah to convert and manufacture precision-guided missiles.

The compound located near Nabi Sheet in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon was established several years ago by Iran and Hezbollah for weapons manufacturing, the army said in a statement, which came less than two weeks after a drone attack in Beirut attributed to Israel reportedly damaged key components of the project.

An aerial photo of what the IDF says is a Hezbollah facility designed to manufacture engines in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley. (Israel Defense Forces)

In a speech televised on Saturday, Nasrallah said that while his Iran-backed organization has some precision missiles, there was no production taking place in Lebanon.

Hezbollah is believed to have over 150,000 missiles, but only a small number of them can be guided to specific sites. Israel fears that in a future war, the terror group could use a barrage of precision missiles to attack sensitive facilities and overwhelm its air defense array.

Israeli planes have carried out airstrikes in Syria to foil efforts by Iran to smuggle the advanced weapons into Lebanon, according to authorities. Jerusalem believes Tehran is now trying to develop domestic production in Lebanon because of the danger involved in trying to move the weapons from Iran to Lebanon.

Agencies contributed to this report.

 

Iran said to be building large military base on Iraq-Syria border

September 4, 2019

Source: Iran said to be building large military base on Iraq-Syria border | The Times of Israel

New military facility seen in Israeli satellite images features five weapons storerooms and will be able to house thousands of soldiers

Satellite image showing the construction of a new Iranian military base in Iraq's Albukamal Al-Qaim region, near the Syrian border (ImageSat International via Fox News)

Satellite image showing the construction of a new Iranian military base in Iraq’s Albukamal Al-Qaim region, near the Syrian border (ImageSat International via Fox News)

Iran is construction a new military facility in Syria that can house thousands of soldiers, according to a Tuesday Fox News report.

Quoting Western intelligence sources, the US cable network said the base is located near the Syria-Iraq border, and its construction is being overseen by the Quds Force, the overseas branch of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Satellite photos of the base, known as the Imam Ali compound, showed what appeared to be five recently constructed buildings that can store precision-guided missiles, according to ImageSat International.

ImageSat, an Israeli satellite imagery analysis firm, said the photos also show other structures at the facility that could be used for storing missiles.

Satellite image showing the construction of a new Iranian military base in Iraq’s Albukamal Al-Qaim region, near the Syrian border (ImageSat International via Fox News)

The images also show what appears to be Iranian construction on a new border crossing that near the existing al-Qaim border crossing with Iraq.

ISI analysts told Fox that the base would be completed and operational in the next few months.

Defense officials said the Imam Ali compound marked the first time Tehran was constructing a military base in Syria, and noted that it was less than 200 miles away from a US military installation in neighboring Iraq.

Israel views Iran as its greatest threat, and has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria in recent years aimed primarily at preventing the transfers of sophisticated weapons, including guided missiles, to the Iran-backed Hezbollah.

This quiet war has reportedly expanded to Iraq in recent weeks, with US officials saying the Israel Defense Forces was behind at least some strikes on Iran-linked sites outside of Baghdad.

In this photo from August 12, 2019, plumes of smoke rise after an explosion at a military base southwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Loay Hameed)

The Pentagon, which is mindful of not alienating Iraq’s leadership and jeopardizing its military presence in the country, has pointedly distanced itself from the mysterious explosions.

Since mid-July, five arms depots and training camps belonging to Popular Mobilization Force have been targeted in apparent attacks.

The PMF has blamed both Israel and the US for the recent string of blasts and drone sightings at its bases, but Baghdad has mostly refrained from making direct accusations.

The PMF was established in 2014 from mostly Shiite paramilitary groups and volunteers to fight the Islamic State jihadist organization and is now formally part of Iraq’s armed forces.

But the US and Israel fear some units are an extension of Iran and have been equipped with precision-guided missiles that could reach Israel.

An illustrative map showing the locations from which the Israeli military says Iran tried to launch explosive-laden drones into northern Israel from Syria in August 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran and Hezbollah of racing to build a missile-production program in Lebanon, vowing to destroy the ambitious project and issuing a stern warning to his enemies to “be careful.”

“We are determined to eliminate this dangerous project,” he said. “The aim of the publication today is to convey a message that we will not sit by and allow our enemies to arm themselves with deadly weapons directed at us.”

Netanyahu last week also addressed General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force and the architect of its regional entrenchment, telling him to “be careful with your words and be even more careful with your actions.”

Last month, an Israeli airstrike thwarted what Israel said was a plot by Iran to launch a series of explosives-laden attack drones meant to crash into targets in the country. Iran denied the claims.

Hours later, Israel allegedly struck Iran-linked targets as far away as Iraq and crash-landed two drones in Hezbollah-dominated southern Beirut.

 

Refuting Nasrallah’s denial, the IDF reveals an Iranian-Hizballah precision missile plant in the Lebanese Beqaa – DEBKAfile

September 4, 2019

Source: Refuting Nasrallah’s denial, the IDF reveals an Iranian-Hizballah precision missile plant in the Lebanese Beqaa – DEBKAfile

Iran and Hizballah secretly established a factory for converting surface missiles to precision guidance near Nebi Shait, a village in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, according to a detailed disclosure by the IDF on Tuesday, Sept. 3. The statement, which refutes Hassan Nasrallah’s denials, describes the factory has having a number of assembly lines which are operated by Iranian specialists especially imported for the purpose. The product produced in Lebanon is said to have achieved a high level of accuracy, estimated at no more than a 10-meter radius from the missile’s target.

The project is divided into sections, manufacturing, quality control, the production of explosive warheads and a logistic compound.  DEBKAfile’s sources identify the missiles upgraded a Nebi Shait as Fatteh-110 and Zelzal 2
The IDF communique reveals that, since the incidents of recent weeks, culminating in the exchange of fire between Hizballah and Israel on Sunday, Iranian and Hizballah staff at the factory have begun dismantling the high-cost equipment for upgrading the missiles and distributing its components to various hiding places in the country, including Beirut.

Israel’s military communique coincided with a report released by US intelligence sources on Tuesday revealing a new and ominous Iranian foothold in Syria.  The Revolutionary Guards are building their first substantial base, big enough to accommodate thousands of troops on a site between Abu Kamal and the Iraqi border.

The two disclosures taken together point to highly active coordination between the US and Israel in tracking Iran’s operations in Lebanon and Syria.