Yesterday, two angry clouds cut through the sky, almost lost in the blue and yellow landscape of the Middle East. They originated from Israel, in the center of the Mediterranean and have provided a great deal of information about the next Syrian war which, if Obama receives Congress’ approval, could start within the next ten days. At 9:30, the Russian military station on the Black Sea reported that two missiles had hit parts of Syria. Israel announced shortly thereafter that it had conducted a routine test (they always say that) along with the US military. But the missiles seem to be sending a clear message: Israel has made its presence known after Obama promised to “punish” Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons. And it’s saying: we’re ready. Israel will defend itself to the death with unusual technological means. In these hours, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, at the inauguration of a High Tech show in Tel Aviv, translated facts into words: “Our life depends on a steel wall, a steel dome and a will of steel. It’s not worth the trouble attacking us.”
The steel wall and dome (“Kipat Barzel,” as short-range anti-missile system is called) are a reality that was represented in the drill: Israel has invented and successfully uses the most precise anti-missile system, the Hetz anti-missile ballistic system called Freccia and, yesterday, it was tested for the nth time to intercept a Sparrow, a copy of a Scud similar to the ones Assad has. Along with the missiles, cutting-edge Magnificent Pine radars have been tested, which identify and share all missile data to be intercepted with the right system, which tells us what is inside the incoming missile. Israel has already prepared a series of batteries for both systems along the Syrian and Lebanese borders, dominated by Hezbollah that holds hundreds of thousands of Iranian missiles. Not only does Israel have weapons for defense, for which it is fully responsible, but, although it has been outside the situation despite threats, it clearly feels that the situation is serious. Its F16s continuously monitor the small strip of land that is Israel without ever landing. The 100th Division collects intelligence. If someone moves in enemy territory and if they need to attack, they’ll be ready.
Israel made its presence known yesterday to Assad, Hezbollah and Iran, which threaten to attack daily if Obama attacks, with a warning that makes it look anything but timid and represents Obama’s decision not to continue a policy of ostracism when it comes to its ally’s weapons, like in the ’91 war with Saddam Hussein when, even though it was bombed, Israel had to sit still. Maybe Assad feels that Obama, to justify his latest indecision, needs to obtain greater results than the destruction of some arms deposits, a victory that will put him on the sidelines and, when he’s against the ropes, the Syrian dictator knows that his safety net is anti-Israel sentiment that could help him gain Arab support. Syria, thanks to Iran and Russia, can reach most of Israel with hundreds of Scud missiles and Fateh 110 that, for example, can reach targets more than two hundred kilometers away.Assad also has excellent Antiaircraft missiles like the SA-10, SA-11, 19 and 22.
Moreover, chemical weapons and gas have been stockpiled so they can be strengthened and prepared for use in the next few days. Many are starting to wonder if the weapons of mass destruction that the Americans didn’t find in Baghdad will be pulled out of some underground bunker in Damascus in the next few hours. While Iran, like a ravenous falcon, watches over its anti-Israel ghost nest and Russia, to make Obama look bad, is ready for anything. It said that it will report any threatening movement it intercepts to Syria. Israel, which doesn’t have anything to do with it, is like little Hans with his finger stuck in the hole of the dam while the ocean swallows him. But it’s a steel dam.
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale; English copyright, The Gatestone Institute