Israel Hit Main Arms Depot Sept. 6, Killing Military Police

Intelligence Online reports from Damascus on the Israeli raid on Syria last month: (Via Laura Rosen, War and Piece thanks to FLC)

In attacking Dair el Zor in Syria on Sept. 6, the Israeli air force wasn't targeting a nuclear site but rather one of the main arms depots in the country.

Dair el Zor houses a huge underground base where the Syrian army stores the long and medium-range missiles it mostly buys from Iran and North Korea. The attack by the Israeli air force coincided with the arrival of a stock of parts for Syria's 200 Scud B and 60 Scud C weapons.

The parts were shipped from North Korea aboard a container ship flying the Panamanian flag. The U.S. Navy wanted to board the ship in Morocco's territorial waters but Rabat vetoed the operation. The parts were loaded aboard six trucks in the Syrian port of Tartus on Sept. 3 and took three days to reach Dair el Zor. The trucks and their loads were destroyed the moment they arrived at the underground base. A unit of military police that escorted the convoy was also wiped out in the attack.

Damascus immediately appealed to several Palestinian groups with strong ties to Syria to retaliate. But Hamas, whose strategy chief Khaled Meshal lives in exile in Syria, refused to act. That was also the case of Hezbollah, which sent its political adviser, Hussein Khalil, to Damascus to signify the movement's reluctance to strike back at Israel.

Khalil, who met with the head of Syrian military intelligence, gen. Assef Chawkat, as well as the official in charge of Lebanese affairs in the president's office, gen. Mohamed Nassif, claimed that Israel would launch a new invasion of southern Lebanon if Hezbollah began firing at Israeli targets.

Comment by JL: This sounds a lot more likely than earlier reports, but still fishy because it has too much intelligence, with no indication of where it came from.

Addendum: Here is why Alex skeptical:

It sounded more likely … until they started to talk about Mashal and Nasrallah refusing to hit Israel … that destroys the credibility of the story, or at least its source, since the second half of the story is nonsense.

Syria will not ask Hizbollah to hit Israel before the Lebanese elections … and probably not even after the elections. Last year Nasrallah had to explain his decision to attack the Israeli soldiers that led to Israel’s war on Lebanon. He said that he would not have done it had he known that Israel would react that way.

Hizbollah’s legitimacy in Lebanon is much more valuable to Syria than sending a few useless missiles over Israel.

Also … when those military police members (20? 50?) died in this big operation … how come no one heard of the news in Syria? … their parents? their friends? … no one got the news?

The story is false.

If Israel hit anything, it was not that dramatic.

Comments (22)


1. Alex said:

It sounded more likely … until they started to talk about Mashal and Nasrallah refusing to hit Israel … that destroys the credibility of the story, or at least its source, since the second half of the story is nonsense.

Syria will not ask Hizbollah to hit Israel before the Lebanese elections … and probably not even after the elections. Last year Nasrallah had to explain his decision to attack the Israeli soldiers that led to Israel’s war on Lebanon. He said that he would not have done it had he known that Israel would react that way.

Hizbollah’s legitimacy in Lebanon is much more valuable to Syria than sending a few useless missiles over Israel.

Also … when those military police members (20? 50?) died in this big operation … how come no one heard of the news in Syria? … their parents? their friends? … no one got the news?

The story is false.

If Israel hit anything, it was not that dramatic.

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October 5th, 2007, 7:19 pm

 

2. why-discuss said:

This story is another empty balloon to keep alive the artificial and theatrical boasting pretext for the humiliated Israeli army.
Tippi Livni laughed and refused to reply to Charlie Rose during a recent interview when he tasked her about that incident. No one would laugh if there was really an attack and people were killed, unless the whole thing is a hoax to keep the press speculating and the israelis reassured about their army.

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October 5th, 2007, 7:43 pm

 

3. ausamaa said:

Intelligence on line with its $3.5, $12, or $5.00 or whatever charges per article is one of the most lousy sources of intelligence on the Middle East I have ever seen.

And by the way again? why store anything wayout in the desert and close to the Iraqi (now US) border? You hide stuff where it can be comouflaged or covered up, not where it stands out as a sour thumb. Major Arms depot? Wayout in the desert ? And bombed at NIGHT? Why NIGHT by the way? Come on guys. Give it a rest. Even if it was not an act of show off, or a signal to Syria, or a trap, or a test of the capabilities of Syria’s air defences. Even if it was all that combined, it has failled by all measures. Especially if it was a test of the air defences, then it has backfired badly if Russia is now moving in hurry to inspect the situation and to blug the “holes” in that system if any were there. But nukes, arms depots and whatever have you in the middle of the desert? I Doubt it.

One of the good things that must have come out of it is that Syria would be more alert and ready now than it was before. Thanks should go to the Israeli Air Force in a way.

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October 5th, 2007, 8:30 pm

 

4. SimoHurtta said:

This story in INTELLIGENCE ONLINE is dated to 20.09.2007. Why did Rozen quote the story on the 5.10.2007?

On 2.10.2007 Rozen suddenly mentioned: Yossi Melman: “Records on North Korean ship docked in Syria were altered.” which is the Haaretz story from 16.9.2007.

Maybe Laura Rozen is following the attack reason articles with a two weeks delay when she in other newsworthy events is very “up-to-date”.

To rumour mill about the reason is very innovative. Here is a link to the Spectator’s article (a couple of days old).
‘So close to war’
We came so close to World War Three that day

which favours the nuclear factory and the cement ship theory and adds some British flavour to it.

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October 5th, 2007, 9:21 pm

 

5. Philippe Duhart said:

It seems very likely the Hezbollah and Hamas refused to do Syria’s bidding. Political considerations for both organizations are very different today then they have been in the past. I tend to find the view that these groups are “proxies” as oversimplifying the complexities of their respective situations. Hezbollah and Hamas won’t go against their organizational interest simply because Syria asks them to.

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October 5th, 2007, 10:01 pm

 

6. IsraeliGuy said:

Washington is looking to avoid a war against Iran / David Ignatius

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=85809

“An informed official told me it was an attack on nuclear materials supplied to Syria by North Korea, and that the US and Israel had shared information before the raid.”

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October 5th, 2007, 10:36 pm

 

7. SimoHurtta said:

Israeliguy tell me one rational reason why Israel and USA do not openly tell in details about the Syrian Korean “nuclear” target. An open explanation with evidence would convince the extremely sceptical public in Europe and partly in USA. USA would certainly get more nations on-board with their efforts.

This continues repeating same foggy story by like-minded columnists and reporters based on the sayings of anonymous officials begins to be hilarious. What are these anonymous sources afraid of not informing public by their real names? Are they afraid of loosing their reputation in Powell’s style or afraid sometimes being answerable of their comments? After the lost WMD case when numerous US officials made claims non-anonymously, US administration has now changed their strategy. Almost all “briefings” seem nowadays to be anonymous only out kicked guys speak in their own name. The funnies event was US Army arranged that famous press event where anonymous US officers presented the evidence which showed Iran’s “negative role” in Iraq. Naturally the reporters were not allowed to film and record the event. Who in his/hers right mind believes such clumsy propaganda.

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October 5th, 2007, 11:27 pm

 

8. majedkhaldoun said:

If this story is true,Only IF,then the army in Syria failed to protect the convoy,or the military base, and it is an act of war.
the number of dead must be more than 50,and must include high ranking officers,the story will be big news after ramadan

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October 5th, 2007, 11:43 pm

 

9. IsraeliGuy said:

High Level Debate Stalled Syria Air Strike
http://www.abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=3695754&page=1

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October 6th, 2007, 12:35 am

 

10. why-discuss said:

The site is as “highly classified” as the iraqi chemical trucks presented by Colin Powel to a mesmerized U.N as a prelude to Iraq war. Spies photos! That sounds like the same b.s to me. The only effective intelligence Israel has is in Lebanon where they are acting very smartly to destroy any chance of a unified government that will antagonize them. In Iran and Syria, zilsh!

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October 6th, 2007, 1:47 am

 

11. ugarit said:

Had Israel and the US succeeded in their mission they would have been showing off, but since they’re concocting varying stories then one possibility is that they were detected and failed in their mision

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October 6th, 2007, 1:53 am

 

12. Gliker said:

SimoHurtta

Maybe you should flip the question, which raises as many legit questions as yours does:

1. Why aren’t the Syrians parading saying the Israelis hit nothing. In the Arab culture, any chance to humiliate is pounced upon and this would be the perfect opportunity to show Israel is vulnerable to attack — unless the Syrians have something to hide.

2. Why isn’t Iran threatening Israel (as if they aren’t already) using this attack as a Casus Beli? Surely, this would be a pretext to supporting a full frontal attack on the Zionist Entity — unless there is something quite embarrasing to the Iranians.

3. Why in the world would the North Koreans chime a day or so after the attack? This is the most odd of all those that are saying something and of all those that are not.

With all due respect to the Syrian media/government and the rest of the Arab media/governments in general, with the exception of a few sources, I wouldn’t put stock in anything they admit to… after all, it is the Arab press/governments who perpetuate rumors of Jewish/Zionist conspiracies of galactic proportions to a poor populace educated to hate the hook-nosed-salty-beef-sandwich people. They also perpetuate the kooky notion of Israel losing wars to Hizbullah, who put up a good fight… but it is Nasrallah who will live the rest of his life in hiding, not Olmert.

Who really won? Jenin massacre? Poisoned olives; exploding paint; AIDS injected into Arafat; Starting WW1, WW2, trying to start WW3; all to hold on to a piece of land the size of a football pitch.

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October 6th, 2007, 3:09 am

 

13. abraham said:

Laura Rozen is usually a good reporter with reliable information and sources, so who knows.

But anyway, like the original reporting quoted: “they left a big hole in the desert”. That’s all. Pure happy PR horseshit.

And I still think Israel flew into Syria over Jordan with Jordan’s cooperation. There’s no way they got through 300 miles (or whatever) of Russian defensive systems.

And I like the typical conspiracy theorists on here who think there’s a Syrian cover-up. Like how many hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of people would they have to reign in to prevent news of any attack of this magnitude leaking out to the international press? An Israeli reporter from Ynet News went to Dair Al Zor and didn’t find anything. Think logically!!

P.S. Why do even presumably Arabic speaking commenters mispell “Hizballah”?

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October 6th, 2007, 6:09 am

 

14. abraham said:

Gliker brayed:

1. Why aren’t the Syrians parading saying the Israelis hit nothing. In the Arab culture, any chance to humiliate is pounced upon and this would be the perfect opportunity to show Israel is vulnerable to attack — unless the Syrians have something to hide.

2. Why isn’t Iran threatening Israel (as if they aren’t already) using this attack as a Casus Beli? Surely, this would be a pretext to supporting a full frontal attack on the Zionist Entity — unless there is something quite embarrasing to the Iranians.

Syria and Iran are playing chess, but you can only think in terms of checkers.

3. Why in the world would the North Koreans chime a day or so after the attack? This is the most odd of all those that are saying something and of all those that are not.

True, it is odd.

With all due respect to the Syrian media/government and the rest of the Arab media/governments in general, with the exception of a few sources, I wouldn’t put stock in anything they admit to… after all, it is the Arab press/governments who perpetuate rumors of Jewish/Zionist conspiracies of galactic proportions to a poor populace educated to hate the hook-nosed-salty-beef-sandwich people.

Right. And it is the Israeli government and news media that demonize the Palestinians, the victims, portraying them as beasts on two legs, spinning the narrative to turn the oppressed into the oppressor. And then they paint conspiracies that insinuate that all their Arab neighbors have nuclear weapons and are therefore a threat to them that requires international sanction. And they also try to re-interpret the historical record by their own narrative, spreading conspiracies about how the breakdown in negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israels was the fault of the Palestinians, even though the Israelis never stopped building new settlements and continued to imprison, maim and slaughter innocent Palestinians weekly, almost daily, for over 20 years now, and walls them off into ghettos with 20 foot high tall cement walls two feet thick that it calls “a fence”. Yeah, Arab media is SOOOOOO horrible by comparison.

They also perpetuate the kooky notion of Israel losing wars to Hizbullah, who put up a good fight… but it is Nasrallah who will live the rest of his life in hiding, not Olmert.

Are you still sore about that ass-whooping? Get over it already. And at least Nasrallah is still alive to kick Israel’s ass again, unlike your hero, Ariel Sharon (spit!), who is on life support because of some desperate notion that someday he will come back to save Israel, who is a flappy sack of bones, blubber and bile by now.

Where is your hero now, Israel? Where is your savior?

Who really won? Jenin massacre? Poisoned olives; exploding paint; AIDS injected into Arafat; Starting WW1, WW2, trying to start WW3; all to hold on to a piece of land the size of a football pitch.

New info on the USS Liberty attack:

http://www.nsa.gov/liberty/

Here’s an article explaining:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/tuesday/chi-liberty_tuesoct02,0,1050179.story

Conspiracy? What Conspiracy? Israel!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

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October 6th, 2007, 6:21 am

 

15. SimoHurtta said:

SimoHurtta

Maybe you should flip the question, which raises as many legit questions as yours does:

1. Why aren’t the Syrians parading saying the Israelis hit nothing. In the Arab culture, any chance to humiliate is pounced upon and this would be the perfect opportunity to show Israel is vulnerable to attack — unless the Syrians have something to hide.

2. Why isn’t Iran threatening Israel (as if they aren’t already) using this attack as a Casus Beli? Surely, this would be a pretext to supporting a full frontal attack on the Zionist Entity — unless there is something quite embarrasing to the Iranians.

3. Why in the world would the North Koreans chime a day or so after the attack? This is the most odd of all those that are saying something and of all those that are not.

Well Gliker my answers

1. Syria’s strategy is completely understandable and logical. First they have to get an official announcement from Israel, the Zionist entity as you self say, what was hit and why. Only then Syria can say that it is true or bullshit and let press visit the site.

2. It is obvious to anybody with brains that Iran is not in a position to start a war and threaten militarily Israel. Iran’s army is now purely defensive so are its allies’ armies. They are only capable to defend not attack. Remember that Iran and Syria are not with military like China and Russia. They are relative weak underdeveloped countries.

The Iranian president uses rather strange rhetoric (for us western but not for Iranians), but considered to the continuous war threats by Israeli and US warmongers his language is understandable. Let’s also remember the deliberate translation mistakes used constantly in Israeli and US propaganda. Also the Israeli/US rhetoric about Iran and others is equally strange for most Europeans as Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric. If a Finnish politician would speak like G. Bush he would be considered here as a religious nut using extremely pompous language. If a Finnish politician would be speaking like some Israeli politicians about minorities and neighbours he would be booed from the stand and shipped by his party leaders to clam down his nerves in a mental institution.

3. Well North Korea and some other countries around the world are in the same defensive position as Syria. Threatened by the Bush administration. So it is natural that they support each other.

Actually many pro-Israeli with this North Korean guilt “prove” are using the good old “have you stopped beating your wife” strategy. If North Korea would have been silent it would have been for you a prove of guiltiness as much as now the North Korean reaction.

Starting WW1, WW2, trying to start WW3; all to hold on to a piece of land the size of a football pitch.

Well isn’t it obvious that Israel wants a bigger football pitch. Tell me Gliker the reason for Israel having more nukes than China. Certainly not for defensive purposes remembering that Arabs and Persians have zero nukes.

Still Gliker I haven’t heard not a single one convincing explanation why Israel and USA are officially silent if the target was nuclear. If the target was something else or there was no target the silence is understandable, because it was a deliberate provocation and an act of war.

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October 6th, 2007, 9:12 am

 

16. abraham said:

More information on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war and the ensuing cover-up, which is now being exposed:

http://www.antiwar.com/mcgovern/?articleid=11719

This article is by Ray McGovern, the same guy that got up and challenged Rumsfeld in front of a crowd of sycophant’s and on live TV in that now famous exchange about a year prior to Rumsfeld getting the boot.

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October 6th, 2007, 3:20 pm

 

17. Akbar Palace said:

Abraham,

How many more posts on the USS Liberty accident do you think it will take to erase the memory of 9-11, the USS Stark, the USS Cole, and the thousands of other Americans killed by Arab terrorism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Liberty_incident

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October 6th, 2007, 4:03 pm

 

18. Akbar Palace said:

Comment by Professor Josh on Laura Rozen’s aritlce:

This sounds a lot more likely than earlier reports, but still fishy because it has too much intelligence, with no indication of where it came from.

Then, Dr. Bashar changes his story from a fallen external fuel tank to an actual, hit military facility:

He ended his silence in a BBC interview, saying Israeli jets hit “a building under construction related to the military but it’s not used, it’s under construction so there’s no people in it, there’s no army, there’s nothing in it”.

It doesn’t take a Director of Middle East “Peace Studies” to draw the correct conclusion. It only takes an objective, unbrainwashed, 3rd grader.

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October 6th, 2007, 4:15 pm

 

19. abraham said:

Ah, my good friend Mr. Akbar Palace, the least intelligent commenter here, has returned.

You seem to be mistaken. The incidents you describe are not “Arab terrorism”. It’s properly referred to as “blowback”.

For the politically immature, that means it was a reaction to an action. Or cause and effect.

Please leave the commenting to the adults. I wish your parents would not let you have unfettered access to the computer.

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October 6th, 2007, 5:43 pm

 

20. Akbar Palace said:

Pro-Terror commentator Abraham states:

It’s properly referred to as “blowback”.

No, it is actually state-sponsored terrorism. The US, the Europeans and the Arab states concerned are turning up terrorists with bank acounts popping up from all corners of the earth. Many from countries that turn a blind eye.

As far as “blowback” is concerned, many of these Islamic fanatics come from middle to upper-middle class backgrounds far removed from Palestine. They are mostly the young and the brainwashed. They’ll bomb when there are peace processes and they’ll bomb when there isn’t. They bomb when we’re in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they bomb when we aren’t. Just like on 9-11.

Americans and the rest of the world have come to understand that terrorist “grievances” are a crock. Like the head terrorist himself: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. An example of a Iranian leader who has a penchant for exporting terror outside his own country.

It would be more accurate to use the term “Bull Shit” than “Blowback”.

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October 6th, 2007, 7:28 pm

 

21. Gliker said:

Abraham

We are talking about Israel and Syria and you can do is throw the USS Liberty around. See how evil the Jews are?

Friendly fire is a Jewish conpiracy.

Every single Jewish intiated conspiracy has been disproven, from drinking Christian (and now mooslim) blood to the stinking Jenin massacre.

I wonder if the mighty Hizbullah suicide truck-bomb on the US & French marine barracks was friendly fire or blow back.

Philo-Arabs have nothing to cling to other than the rantings of Henry Ford and a friendly fire incident 40 years ago, in the middle of an existential war.

Arab rank hypocricy and imagination are the ammunition in this fight.

Arab honor is the perpetuation of this fight.

Arab shame is why this fight will never end.

Get over the honor-shame crap, get into a truth culture and you will have an end to the fight.

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October 6th, 2007, 8:21 pm

 

22. Morocco » Blog Archives » Israel Hit Main Arms Depot Sept. 6, Killing Military Police said:

[…] Israel Hit Main Arms Depot Sept. 6, Killing Military Police to board the ship in Morocco’s territorial waters but Rabat vetoed the operation. The parts were loaded […]

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October 7th, 2007, 6:03 am

 

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