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Further terrorist incidents in the Middle East

Following on from the recent thread on Alastair Crooke further incidents are unfolding

More than 100 dead from what looks like twin suitcase bombs in Iran on the anniversary of Suleimani’s assassination by America

And Israel gets ready for retaliation after murdering 6 people in Lebanon

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I have the Crooke video playing in the background with Aljazeera live blog open - awaiting Nasrallah’s speech. Day of mourning declared for Iran tomorrow (Th 4 Jan). Blinken due in Turkey Saturday and I think he’s due to be shuttling around the region, or at any rate visiting Israel too.

The fan and the poop might well have conjoined before then, it looks like. Seemingly IOF are reducing their presence in Gaza and heading North, so I guess the playbook has advanced several pages. Whether the other players will perform as expected is the main question. More provocations to follow if they don’t.

Isn’t it dreadful, no matter how expected.

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Meanwhile on court number two…

Israel Admits Hezbollah Strike Caused Extensive Damage to Strategic Airbase

The Hezbollah missiles were fired at the Meron base in northern Israel. While the Iron Dome system can intercept rocket fire, Israel has no system to intercept the anti-tank missiles used by Hezbollah

Rocket hitting a radar in an air force base in northern IsraelCredit: Hezbollah

Yaniv Kubovich

Oded Yaron

Jan 7, 2024 9:12 pm IST

The Hezbollah missile attack on Mt. Meron on Saturday morning hit a strategic Israeli airbase. The IDF admitted on Sunday that the strikes caused damage to the facility and that it is investigating the incident.

A video released by Hezbollah shows a large number of missile impacts on the base, which serves as the Israeli Air Force’s northern air control unit. Hezbollah knew precisely what is based there, and the video describes its role in great detail. Much information about the base is openly available online, and the organization has hit the facility in previous rounds. The organization has targeted the base in the beginning of the current campaign in the north as well. Since then, the IDF has made certain preparations ahead of further potential strikes to the facility.

150,000 missiles aimed at Israel: How far does Hezbollah’s deadly arsenal reach

According to Hezbollah’s announcement, dozens of missiles of various types were fired at the base from the village of Yaroun in Lebanon, which is located two kilometers north of the border with Israel. The distance from Yaroun to Mt. Meron is 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles).

The Hezbollah video shows the high-trajectory firing of dozens of missiles or rockets from Lebanese territory. Hezbollah documented the impacts at Meron, and the video shows a number of rockets or missiles falling in the woodland lower on the mountainside.

However, the video also shows a number of direct hits of what appear to be anti-tank guided missiles on the military facility itself, including the domes shielding the radars that give Israel an aerial picture of the entire northern theater, deep into Lebanon.

A Hezbollah anti-tank missile hit an IDF observation and communication post on the Lebanese border

Unlike the high-trajectory fire of rockets or missiles, which can be intercepted by Iron Dome – at short ranges of up to several dozen kilometers – and David’s Sling (“Magic Wand”) at distances of up to 300 kilometers – Israel air defense systems have no ability to intercept anti-tank missiles, which are fired directly and fly to their target at low altitude.

An advanced system called “TROPHY” is installed on IDF armored vehicles and provides, as proven thus far in the Gaza Strip, much active protection to forces in tanks and armored personnel carriers, but it cannot protect large stationary facilities.

David’s Sling being launched from an offshore shipCredit: Israel’s Defense Ministry

Since the start of the war, Hezbollah has been using anti-tank missiles also against stationary military facilities – including structures, antennae, and communications systems along the Lebanon border, which cannot be protected by “TROPHY.”

Hezbollah’s ATGM team works to destroy surveillance and radar equipment at the Al-Abad base on the Israel-Lebanon border. #Israel #GazaUnderAttack #PalestineUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/4uF1WoTbd1

— Venik (@venik44) October 29, 2023

Hezbollah’s older anti-tank missiles – like the Sager, the Tau (or Tufan, in its Iranian version) and even the older generation Kornet, have a maximal effective range of up to 5 km. But Hezbollah is equipped with the more advanced anti-tank missiles as well, including the Kornet-EM, the maximum effective range of which is estimated at 10 kilometers (6.21 miles), precisely the distance from which the missiles were launched at the Meron base on Saturday.

Israeli forces near the Lebanon border, on Thursday.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Although there is no system that could have intercepted the anti-tank missiles en route to impact Mt. Meron, it is unclear why the IDF failed to surround the sensitive installations with fences, as it has installed along the northern border. Such fences could have sustained the impact of the anti-tank missiles, triggering the explosion of their warheads, and preventing most, if not all, the damage to the facilities themselves.

On Saturday, the Israeli Air Force put the “Sky Dew” (“Tal Shamaim”) system into use, following a year and half of it being inoperable due to technical malfunction. The system is supposed to provide Israel with long-range, early warning of aerial threats upon its territory. The radar, mounted on an aerostat in the north of the country, is supposed to warn of the launch of cruise missiles and low-altitude drones held by Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/security-aviation/2024-01-07/ty-article/israel-hezbollah-missile-strike-extensive-damage-strategic-airbase-meron/0000018c-e518-db55-a39e-f79ccc940000Top of Form