Israeli Preparations for War With Iran, Hezbollah AND Syria?
I cringe when I have to write blog posts like this because with every fiber of my body, I do not want a war between Iran and Israel and the concomitant regional hostilities likely to break out thereafter. I realize that any reporting that encourages such speculation only fuels the interests of Israel as I’ve noticed in the Psy-Ops activities discussed here along those same lines. But then again, as Trita Parsi mentioned to me the last time we spoke, it is possible that Israel DOES intend to attack Iran and that the games its intelligence operatives are playing are part of this weird scenario. So I put this out there with foreboding and a warning that posts like this may be just what Israeli intelligence wishes to be posted to scare the shit out of the Iranians, Syrians and Lebanese (specifically Hezbollah).
A week ago or so I reported a major IDF training exercise in the north involving major movements of armor from home bases farther south to staging areas in the north. I speculated that if the armor remained in the staging areas after the operation concluded this might mean that Israel was preparing for actual military operations either in Lebanon or Syria. I have not heard about movements of the equipment after conclusion of the operation. But I have received further reports that, depending on how they’re interpreted, could be cause for alarm.
An Australian aeronautical engineer notes that the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, as required by law, three weeks ago publicly announced that Israel completed a massive purchase of military fuels (official order) including jet fuel worth $2 billion. He notes that Israel would require an enormous quantity of jet fuel to mount an Iran attack and that this purchase gets Israel most of the way there. But he also notes other types of fuels in the order which are not for aircraft:
If Israel were planning to strike Iran then that would explain the requirement for the large amounts of JP-8 fuel. However, it does not explain Israel’s need for such large amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel since an Israeli strike against Iran is unlikely to include any type of ground incursion into Iran for which these fuels would be used. The only conclusion one can draw, if Israel is not planning to actually invade Iran, which, clearly, it could not, is that Israel is planning to use the gasoline and the diesel fuel for some other ground incursion – and that can only mean an invasion of Lebanon and possibly the Gaza and West Bank when an attack against Iran is launched.
This massive order begs the question; is the final confrontation imminent? And, if not, then what is all this fuel for?
Time will tell. Jet fuel, if it’s going to be used in peak condition, doesn’t have a very long shelf life.
So, as I mentioned in my earlier post about the training exercise, it could be that Israel IS planning to attack Iran and is preparing for the accompanying border unrest with Hezbollah in Lebanon and possibly Syria (one strange purpose of the exercise according to the press was to prepare for massive unrest amongst the Israeli Palestinian population which has never, to my knowledge, engaged in unrest during any previous Israeli military operations). I have to say that I find all of this highly difficult to credit considering the enormous amount of personnel on multiple military fronts that the IDF would be required to coordinate. Not since the 1973 War has Israel fought on such multiple battlefields and I can’t imagine it would relish the prospect of doing so now considering it hasn’t shown itself terribly competent recently fighting on even one front (cf. Lebanon and Gaza). While militants in Gaza could not mount any more than a symbolic resistance with rocket attacks on southern Israel, Hezbollah could, as it did in 2006 throw the fear of God into the entire region of northern Israel and send 1 million Israelis once again into shelters for weeks on end.
Haaretz reports, based on a Kuwaiti story, that Israel is preparing to attack Hezbollah military targets inside Syria which, if true, fits into the narrative I’ve outlined above:
Israel is planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots and weapons manufacturing plants in Syria, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported on Saturday. The report is based on Western sources who asserted that Israel has increased its military force level along the northern border in the Golan Heights and Mount Dov areas. The report cited European sources who claimed that recent Israeli unmanned aerial drone flights over Lebanon and Syria signal Israel’s intentions to carry out operations in the area…According to the report, Israel plans to attack Hezbollah weapons depots, including ones deep inside Syria that store long-range rockets.
The Al Rai report said that the situation on the Israel-Syria border is tense and that Syria could respond immediately to any Israeli attack and not demonstrate the restraint that it did after the Israeli Air Force bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria in the fall of 2007.
According to the report, Syria’s military is on high alert and is strengthening its anti-aircraft defenses along the border with Israel and at strategic sites within Syria.
The original Al Rai story includes this telling piece of information:
“Western military reports reveal that Israel massed in the last days an armed division, in addition to a similar division that was already in place in the Golan Heights and around Shebaa farms.”
If Israel does attack Iran, it goes without saying that Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts are dead probably for the remaining duration of Obama’s term. That’s one reason I can’t imagine that the U.S. would begin to consider allowing such an Israeli attack. Which is why I scratch my head at the U.S. facilitating the fuel purchase. How can we provide Israel with the necessary tools for an attack when it would undermine our stated policy supporting peace talks?
A further caveat: all of the information presented here except the fuel sale is speculative and prone to various interpretations. So I hesitate to shout from the rooftops about a coming Israeli Middle East military adventure. But we must be prepared for the eventuality should such a disaster occur.
42 thoughts on “Israeli Preparations for War With Iran, Hezbollah AND Syria? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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As a Canadian, now in Israel, i cannot express to you
the utter depression that is living constantly being bombarded from inside and outside with warfare news.
Nothing but macho talk forever.
The notion of always being on the brink is tiresome and the scary thing is that for all we know Israel WILL be the one to blink “unnecessarily” first.
Our local hacks a.k.a. as political and military leadership only construe their survival (political and as leaders not meaning actual life) by constantly maintaining a state of warfare.
The constant “at ready” attitude only instills in other countries to do the same maintaining a vicious nauseating cycle.
At no time do we hear from our leaders that MAYBE there is another way.
At times i believe that we might as well go ahead and hit the go button so we either turn to ashes overnight or our leaders will learn that warfare is not the only solution, but then again in the aftermath they will be holding the short straw.
If you live in a place you don’t like living in and have the easy opportunity to live somewhere else (Canada), the obvious question is…
You have a lot of friggin’ nerve. Nessim is in Israel and will take the hit. His family there will die or be injured. Where are you? What gives you the right to get snarky with him? I swear, if I didn’t want to hear you whinging & whining about censorship I’d ban yr ass right now. You’re an insufferable twit.
what is your relevant education, or working experience in intelligence analysis ? what are your sources ?
bare in mind that there is a lot of disinformation published by mostly the Iranians, and what you think you know is probably not whats going on.
I have nothing to prove to you. I invite you to read my blog & judge for yrself unless of course you’ve already made up yr mind.
The only thing i made up my mind on, is you being defensive for no reason.
trying to analyze a conflict without having all the relevance information – and you don’t have 2% of the relevance information – is extremely presumptuous.
intelligence analysis is an art and it takes time, hard work and gaudiness to develop such a skill set.
when you are trying to analyze issues above your pay grade you are simply contributing to the disinformation game.
The fact that the IDF is buying fuel in the US is irrelevant without knowing few things:
1. Is this is a reoccurring purchase. (yes it is, someone published the fact on this site)
2. does the IDF buys fuel from any other sources. (classified)
3. what’s the anomaly in this equation.
4. how much fuel the IDF consumes per its training regime every year.
Both sides (israel and iran) are drumming the war drums in order to build deterrence against the other side. By trying to analyze issues you don’t understand you simply contribute to their efforts.
Poor Richard, still scratching your head. “The peace talk efforts during the remainder of Obama’s term” are no more relevant than the so-called talks at Annapolis under Bush. The reason the U.S. allowed these purchases is because it will be (IS) right there in collusion with Israel’s probable attack on Iran. No rational person wants to see this happen, but I have long given up on these evil twins ever being reasonable, except in their own twisted minds.
Thank you, Gene. I didn’t think anybody was left on the planet who takes the “peace process” seriously, but apparently, there are still a few deluded folk out there.
The lunatic Israeli regime is capable of literally anything, including bringing on World War III.
There is also this, which was sent a few days go:
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has beamed a congratulatory message in the Farsi language to Iranians for their efforts “to liberate themselves from the burden of the oppressive regime” headed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I double Israel would broadcast her intentions though, if they wanted to go to war.
Danny Ayalon’s deeds are THE ROOT of the current state of affairs between Turkey and Israel
So yes I would say that if we take the past as an example I wouldn’t put beyond the lunatics at Israel’s helms to hit the red button at any given moment, and damned be the US and the whole world.
Turkey’s turn away from the west had nothing to do with Danny Ayalon’s meeting with the turkish ambassador.
The U-Turn by Erdugan was due to two reasons:
1. Turkey wasn’t accepted to the EU. and had to look for other regions for influence.
2. The coming election and the decrease in poll popularity of Erdugan and the changes the rolling party is trying to implement in turkey.
I’d say the west has turned away from Turkey & not the other way around. Turkey still wants to join the EU, still wants to play a major role in the west.
This is false. Turkey hasn’t been accepted to the EU YET. But such acceptance will happen though it may take some time. But yes, when turned away (temporarily) by the EU Turkey has redoubled its influence in many areas including the Gaza conflict, the nuclear negotiations with Iran, etc. And its efforts have often paid off handsomely & Turkey exerts considerable influence outside its borders.
Can you document this? Or are you just blowin’ smoke?
Turkey’s entry to the EU has been consistently supported, indeed sought, by successive British governments of various political colours, consistently opposed by Germany. With Greece, the only EU member with a legitimate complaint against Turkey, opposition to Turkish membership comes and goes, and this is not the stumbling block. It is Germany, currently backed by France, that opposes Turkey’s entry to the EU.
Turkish membership will mean that the EU becomes more of a multi-cultural free trade area and less of a centrally-controlled, Orwellian superstate, if that helps you decode the above.
It is Turkey that’s turned away.
The ruling RELIGIOUS party wishes to move the SECULAR country towards a more religious state and obviously the ONLY direction is IRAN.
Why Iran, simple. Iran is on a warpath with everyone also because of the atomic bomb. The turks want to be under that umbrella rather than being the target.
Iran and Turkey do not share the same Islamic religion. So this marriage is a convenience not affinity.
Further the other Arab countries do not accept Turkey as being pure Muslim on account of its large non-Muslim society
The ruling religious party is trying to modify the constitution so as to allow for a possible continuity in power all the while kissing up to the army (as little as possible) in order to avoid a coup.
Bottom Line Turkey’s turn east was a foregone conclusion when the current party took power and it may get more radical in a second term
Nonetheless Turkey and Israel have immense commercial trade agreements and technological ties which will endure way beyond what the ruling party can cut.
This union brings to mind when Nasser kicked the americans out and invited the russians. The result was extremely poor Russian return, whether in tourism, or investment. So it will be in Turkey, Iran has no means to either invest or send in tourist. bottom line Turkey will lose economically all the while gaining a Terrorist State Title
Yr comment is full is half correct information and wild overstatement. Too many of these to rebut them pt by pt. I’ll lv. that to someone else.
But one pt on which you are wrong is Iranian ties with Turkey. There is a huge amt of Iranian tourism in Turkey just as there used to be Israeli tourism there.
The idea that Turkey is any more a terror state than Israel, Iran or Lebanon is preposterous.
there is a little illogical flow in your statement, first you are saying that my statement the Turkey wasn’t accepted to the EU is false, then you are saying that they weren’t accepted yet. so if your second statement is right, and you actually support my statement, then your first statement is False.
Of Course i can document this, this was taken place since 2008 and there was a decrease in support of AK (the ruling party)
look at this link written in 2008
look at this article written in Jan 2010 – 5 months prior to the Marmara incident –
do you now understand why the Mavi Marmara was supported by the Turkish Government ?
to Nessim Dayan.
I am a bit surprised at your views on Turkey.
Here is for a more informed view of what is going on in Turkey:
If Israel has ORDERED fuel in large amounts, how long before this fuel is DELIVERED? What’s the time-table for this scare? If the fuel is delivered and not (immediately) used, what then? How is it paid for, or is that a silly question?
I understand it has to be put on a tanker & sent to Israel. So all of this could take a few weeks I would think w. all the loading & unloading that would be necessary along w. a cross ocean trip.
Please name A SINGLE PIOUS (any religion) GOVERNMENT that leads towards modernization.
Religion and modernization are antonyms.
Religion is in and by itself a “cracy”
Anything else is subservient. It will allow anything that serves its purposes of keeping the masses ignorant and in need.
I should know I live in one and see its effects day to day.
Just read the article will you, and spare me your generalizations.
1) what are Mr. Thumann credentials? (he studied this and that)
2) what are his article sources?
The fact that this magazine printed his article is synonym of nothing. There are a lot of hacks working at Fox pretending to be journalists. Why should I give this individual more credence to you for that matter?
Oh I guess because it’s printed in the Woodrow Wilson Quarterly it must be true. Not necessarily
This again is over the top. I agree w. you that religion & government don’t mix & should be separate. But to say that all religions w. exception are enemies of modernization is wrong & again a wild exagerration. The problem is you’re basing all religions on the one you see running too much of Israel. And that is a mistake. Not all religions are as corrupt & degraded as Israeli Orthodoxy & ultra Orthodoxy.
I was hopeful when I read
“I cringe when I have to write blog posts like this because with every fiber of my body, I do not want a war between Iran and Israel and the concomitant regional hostilities likely to break out thereafter.”
And, then I cringed when I read that Richard does not regard the buildup of arms by Hezbollah as part of an arms race, or the Iranian development of delivery systems (missiles, triggers, drones).
War is constructed by inter-locking layers of daring.
Israel is daring Iran, and Iran is more than daring Israel (maintaining proxy militias on its borders), and processing uranium beyond the level needed for nuclear power.
Even if for just nuclear power purposes (undesirable in itself, still no safe storage of waste possible), continuing to enrich uranium beyond power needs, is provocative.
Time to call an escalation an escalation.
Drones are delivery systems? For what? As for triggers, the only proof that Iran is making triggers is fr. a fraudulent Iranian memo likely fabricated by the Mossad & published in the Times of London by an Israeli reporter known for being a purveyor of Israeli intelligence mischief. And can you prove that any missiles Iran is testing will be used as delivery vehicles?
Where have you seen this reported credibly by Iranians or by someone who knows specifically & reliably what enrichment Iran is providing to its uranium?
As for escalation, I do call Israel’s escalation an escalation. And if there is war or an attack it will Israel that is the aggressor & the U.S. its abettor. The world too will see it that way.
The “gasoline” would be used in drones, most of the smaller ones run on automobile grade “mogas” rather than the increasingly rare and expensive “avgas”.
Hardly any military ground vehicles (manned ones at anyrate) still use gasoline, as this ignites too easily.
Turbine-powered main battle tanks can in theory run on a variety of fuels, including JP8 jet fuel, but are usually adjusted to run on the same diesel fuel as other vehicles in the same formation.
Turbine powered tanks, such as the M1 Abrams, use approximately twice as much fuel, whether you measure per mile or per combat hour, than tanks with a modern diesel engine. The IDF’s Merkava tank uses a diesel engine. A truly disproportionate fuel purchase for ground vehicles might indicate that the IDF intends to operate American tanks?
Bulldozers use a lot of fuel, too. So perhaps they are planning a more limited military operation with some extraordinary earthworks.
But my assessment of about a fortnight ago is still valid in my view: all of this sabre-rattling is probably designed to get Hezbollah to ready its arms for battle, and in the process hopefully reveal where they are.
A prolonged air campaign over Iran, rather than a couple of days of surgical strikes, would seem untenable unless all the intervening countries are also to be attacked, which really would be biting off more than the IDF can chew.
There are various additives that can make JP8 fit for longer-term storage, and this has long been possible for diesel fuel. It doesn’t necessarily have to be used at once, and Israel has long kept fairly big stocks to secure the economy as well as for military purposes.
There was once a plan for a canal between the Gaza strip and Egypt, which would be pretty well impossible to tunnel under. That might account for the sabre-rattling to the North. Two billion dollars worth of fuel would sound about right in the context of keeping things secured while a few billion tons of soil are moved.
Here are recent DSCA fuel sales notifications re Israel:
28,000,000 gallons unleaded
54,000,000 gallons diesel
186,000,000 gallons JP-8
268 M total gallons @ Est $1.3 billion
60,000,000 gallons unleaded
100,000,000 gallons diesel
284,000,000 gallons JP-8
444 M gallons total @ Est $2 billion
Speculating that the earlier request was for Gaza, the amounts in the second alert would seem more tailored for local operations. But who knows? The 7/14/06 JP-8 request (no gallon amt) was Est @ $210 million.)
Would IAF jets refuel coming to and going from Iran? USAF flying tankers are fully compatible/capable of performing that mid-air service, too. How much JP-8 would be burned per to-and-from sortie? I have no bloody idea….
The cost estimates don’t make sense given the relative amounts of fuel.
(link to DSCA arms sales notifications. 2008 was a busy year for notifications re Israel):
Doesn’t really look like a sustained air campaign, does it, not by comparison.
Even if air-refuelled en-route, they would still need quite a lot of fuel at takeoff.
Much more gasoline, though, and the only military things that use it these days are the smaller drones.
$4 per (US) Gallon sounds almost like UK petrol station forecourt prices with tax, which they are not paying. (US gallon is less than an Imperial gallon.)
It’s at the very least twice as much money as that amount of fuel suggests.
Is there something like liquid hydrogen or nitro-methane in the price, but not in the itemization?
Might be used in rockets or “air independent propulsion” that enables a diesel electric submarine to remain at depth for several days without snorkelling to run its diesels.
Not sure what form Israeli AIP takes; could be fuel cells (hydrogen) or a sterling engine (nitro-methane and oxygen, diluted by recycled exhaust fumes.) Both are commercially available from German and French sources.
There is also an American-made torpedo mono-propellant “OTTO” which is remarkably expensive. Even so, it’s not expensive enough to account for the $2bn overall price, as they can’t need that many torpedoes!
Perhaps the unleaded fuel is used by vehicles not directly tied to combat operations ie for transporting men & supplies to staging areas?
“But my assessment of about a fortnight ago is still valid in my view: all of this sabre-rattling is probably designed to get Hezbollah to ready its arms for battle, and in the process hopefully reveal where they are.”
HA is more likely to be in a continual process of preparation unrelated to public Israeli threats. They also have an advantage of coordination/cooperation with the LAF and Lebanese intelligence services that was completely absent in ’06.
Nasrallah is reported to have offered to share his cache of missiles/rockets with the LAF if needed….that’s probably bombast though, unless evidence of cross-training emerges.
Their previous practice with stores of munitions was to stick them in tunnels and not go in and out of the entrances more often than they had to.
Which worked well for the Serbs and is working for the Taliban.
Possibly the unleaded fuel is for soldier’s privately owned SUVs and so on to move things around without the appearance of a military mobilization. Or to keep essential parts of the civil economy moving. But it does look as if they’d need far more drone coverage than they had in 2006. Thing is, the more drones they use, the more overloaded the available secure communications bandwidth gets: something few governments seem to understand as they order unmanned aircraft as a cost-cutting panacea.
The American drones in Afghanistan use pretty well ALL the available communications satellite bandwidth, which makes one wonder how the American military would manage using drones in a larger scale conflict against a “near peer” (this seems to be as close as American generals can get to saying “Vladimir Putin”).
The first thing that happened when the UK launched its Skynet Five satellites, was that the Americans and other NATO allies started to rent about half the bandwidth on them. The second thing that happened was that BAe got a contract to develop much more autonomous drones.
The Syrian President has warned several times in recent month that an all-out war with israel is a real possibility.
Apparently he knows what he is talking about.
He’s also begged Israel to negotiate the outstanding issues bet. them to the refusal of Israel. In the next war, if it goes badly for Israel it will have no one to blame but itself.
The Syria issue boils down to WATER.
Israel is ready (wink wink) to return the whole golan while leaving a “one centimeter” border between Syria and the Sea.
Israel has left itself at Syria’s mercy for not investing in water infrastructure, therefore it would be literal suicide to let Syria drain the sea, which is their intention as a form of warfare for one and because they ALSO need water.
Until THE WATER issue is solved there won’t be movement. The Syria/Iran buddie-ship is another face to the same water warfare.
So it always comes back to MONEY – Israel would rather invest in the IDF than water and Syria is just too poor to invest in anything. It’s Israel that is doing the ostrich and any war is solely and exclusively the result of Israel’s lack of seriousness in handling its affairs
[comment deleted & commenter banned–hey, Bill Pearlman, you must be Chaim’s cousin. How many A-rabs did you kill today?]
“So I put this out there with foreboding and a warning that posts like this may be just what Israeli intelligence wishes to be posted to scare the shit out of the Iranians, Syrians and Lebanese (specifically Hezbollah). ”
Let me get this strait….. Israeli intelligence is now using this blog to scare the Iranians. i.e the Iranians are reading Richard Silverstein and are now shaking in their boots.
Thats a good one !
You better believe this blog is monitored by Israeli intelligence. Either that or those who’ve written to me claiming former affiliation with it were lying. Not to mention those who may be reading who don’t bother to send me e mails. The Rotter forum is heavily populated by Israeli intelligence types & my posts are linked there. So you bet, they monitor me.
i understand that the idea that the Israeli intelligence monitors your website makes you feel very important, but they monitor your website as much as they monitor debka.
I’ve checked this site for information on what goes on in the middle east…
If they are not monitoring you, you nor them are doing their jobs…
I am vehemently opposed to Israel in General, and the very concept of a “Jewish” state in the Holy land in particular.
But, I stand with my Israeli, and Palestinian friends in the quest for a just solution for all. I have before and will again risk my life for Justice in Palestine/Israel.
I have no faith in any governments actions regarding finding a just solution.
I pray Israel does not attack Iran, but again no faith in them not to.
I blame America for arming a thug state. We must keep on keeping on in our resistance, and educate our people on all sides. Then some day… maybe the forces of strife will relent. God Speed the Siege breakers!
Hi Richard, guess what was in Haaretz Op-Ed this morning. The funny thing is that it’s only in the Hebrew edition, I couldn’t find it in the English edition and judging by the content, the omission isn’t surprising:
A few words about Oded Tira. He retired from the military service as Chief of Artillery before I was drafted but lets just say that opinion of him voiced by reservists that I met wasn’t very positive. Two things worth mentioning – Early in the decade he was the Manufacturers Association President and as such was rabid anti-worker, which went well with his general right wing theories. He faded away mid decade but resurfaced after operation “Cast Lead” when he appeared on national news claiming that the white phosphorus in the photos from Gaza were actually phosphorus tipped pieces of felt that were generally harmless. As someone who served in Artillery for over twenty years (regular and reserves) as a Master Sergeant and has fired thousands of shells, I can tell you that there he described a non existent munition.