Today, Israeli jets yet again attacked a military target in Syria that was a weapons manufacturing plant. The target was just outside Homs. Israel doesn’t usually attack targets inside Syria unless they are directly connected to Iranian or Hezbollah interests. So it’s likely that this plant, called a “copper factory” in some accounts, played some role in manufacturing weapons used by either party.
And precisely in the same way Syria responded to the last such attack, it’s alleged Syria retaliated by firing a missile at the Israeli war plane. Coincidentally (or not), at almost the same time as the attack, Israeli air raid sirens sounded in many parts of the country (watch video above). Though the IDF announced that the sirens were a “false alarm,” I believe it’s likely they weren’t. If a Syrian missile was fired and Israeli tracking devices believed it could land inside Israeli territory, the Home Command would have sounded the sirens.
Though there have been false alarms inside Israel in the south (near Gaza and the Egyptian border), such phenomena are exceedingly rare in the center and north of the country. When sirens blast in those regions it means there was a credible threat of some kind detected.
In the previous incident, the Syrian missile actually landed in Jordan, so the IDF could neither conceal the fact nor lie about it (though I believe it did lie about the type of missile fired). If another missile was launched today as a result of the Israeli attack, calling the sirens a false alarm might mean the missile didn’t land in Israel and posed no danger. It could’ve landed in Syria or even in the sea. But that raises the question: if it was fired, where are its remnants? I’m awaiting word on a ghost missile. If one doesn’t turn up, it may be that my theory doesn’t hold up.
If the false alarm story is fake, then it likely means the Syrian missile didn’t pose a serious threat and the Israeli government doesn’t want to panic residents by making them feel they’re vulnerable to an attack from an Arab neighbor. Of course they are vulnerable to such an attack. But the government survives by pretending Israel is invincible. Until it isn’t…
Alleged attack in Syria was not at the same time as the alarm in Tel-Aviv – several hours apart. The Syrian battery also would’ve been firing westwards – which would lead to the Mediterranean sea.
The sirens in Tel-Aviv are probably turned off or have a very high threshold in normal circumstances – however they probably operated them (or lowered thresholds) following the tunnel incident on the Gazan border (expecting a possibly response from Gaza). It also rained heavily.
I agree with your analysis about the “false alarm”. The system is pretty reliable and doesn’t just start sounding in multiple locations in the same region unless something triggered it. And the coincidence with the Syrian attack is just too great. Either there was some projectile fired our way, or, less likely, it was a hacking attack on the system.
Israel’s aggressive stance toward Syria is meant to deter the Iranian proxy Hezbollah.
Deterrence prevents wars, the same way a cop standing on a street corner prevents crime.
It’s a good thing to prevent wars.
Richard Silverstein says
@Zionauts: Yeah, like ‘deterrence’ has prevented 40,000 Palestinian dead since 1948. It’s really scared off Iran from confronting Israel as well. Is “mowing the grass” with Palestinian skulls what you call “deterrence??”
Palestinian skulls. Interesting.
40,000 dead over a period of 70 years, compared, say too 600,000 dead Syrians in five years.
And of those 40,000 dead, how many of them were combatants? Quite a few I’d guess. And how many dead Jews died at the hands of Palestinians over that 70 year period? Ten thousand, twenty thousand?
Iran’s confrontation with Israel has nothing to do with deterrence. Iran uses anti-Zionism as a tool to help ‘divide and conquer’ the Arab world. This tool is one of many tools Iran uses to ‘divide and conquer’ the Arab world.
And BTW. Iran’s strategy has been very successful.
Richard Silverstein says
@zionaut: OK, so let’s pick apart the “logic” of your argument.
The Syria analogy is a red herring. My blog doesn’t deal with Syria. If Syria interests you more than Israel or Palestine you’re in the wrong place. Not to mention that this is an off-topic comment. Stay on topic.
How many were combatants? In the
past Gaza massacre/war only 300 of the 2,300 dead were combatants. So you justify killing 40,000 Palestinians by claiming 5,000 were combatants??
Not to mention that by that logic all Israeli military fatalities are justified because they are combatants as well. Are you saying taking the lives of Israeli soldiers is justified? Or are you claiming Israel and its army are a sort of master race, whose interests are pure & noble compared to those of Palestinians?
The ratio of Israelis killed to Palestinians is closer to 1 in 10 over that period. Many, many more Palestinians died in conflict than Israelis. And remember we’re talking about Israelis, not ‘Jews.’ Don’t make that conflation again.
As for Iran, I’d say you know as much about Iran and its motivations as you know about brain surgery, which is nothing.
If Iran has been successful it has been due to the brutal, rapacious, dictatorial nature of many of its Arab & Israeli opponents.