Israel’s message to Syria: we have a long memory

L. Todd Wood is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LToddWood

L. Todd Wood is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. Twitter: @LToddWood

These days Russians don’t make much for export, except weapons.  However, they make really good weapons, especially air defense systems.  They also will sell these to anyone without a care in the world.  This includes terrorists, dictators, and the like.

The SA-6 surface to air missile system is a prime example.  This weapon had one of the most impressive kill ratios in history during the 1973 Yom Kippur War that Israel almost lost.  Over 100 Israeli aircraft were shot down during that short conflict and in fact Israel would have lost the war had it not been for massive American resupply efforts.

The SA-6 took Israel totally by surprise.  The system was developed by the Soviets to counter American air superiority in Europe and in short, is a self-propelled radar guided medium range missile launcher.  The command system of the SA-6 can target multiple aircraft simultaneously and is very accurate.  It is because of its success in the Yom Kippur conflict and the difficulties Israel had in defeating the system, that the United States developed radar stealth technology that was used so victoriously in the first Gulf War.  Israel has no stealth capability.

Fast forwarding to the present, Israel today launched an airstrike against a convoy inside Syria that was ferrying weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamic terrorist group supported by Iran and Israel’s arch enemy.

israel air strike map

Iran’s President has publicly stated many times the Iranian regime’s desire to destroy the state of Israel.  It is also no secret that Iran is arming and propping up Assad in Syria.  Iran has also been arming Hezbollah now for years with sophisticated weaponry.  Syria also has chemical weapons that Israel is concerned could find their way to Hezbollah, not to mention the Iranian nuclear program.  This attack was a reminder to the foes of Israel that the Jewish state will defend itself preemptively when it feels the need.

The weapons convoy that the IAF attacked today carried the SA-17 Grizzly surface to air missile system, the third generation variant of the SA-6.  The SA-17 is much more accurate and harder to defeat than its forerunner.  Each self-propelled launcher has its own radar and can be operated independently of a command vehicle.  This is a force multiplier and makes the system even more deadly.  The SA-17 would give Hezbollah the ability to neutralize the IAF.

The Israeli Air Force has a long memory.  

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