Report: Israeli airstrike targeted Syrian missiles, not nuke material

posted at 7:14 pm on September 24, 2007 by Allahpundit

It’s hard lefty news zine Raw Story with a scoop penned by Larisa “Bush Signs the Reichstag Fire Decree” Alexandrovna. Empty that salt shaker and enjoy:

Israel did not strike a nuclear weapons facility in Syria on Sept. 6, instead striking a cache of North Korean missiles, current and former intelligence officials say.

American intelligence sources familiar with key events leading up to the Israeli air raid tell RAW STORY that what the Syrians actually had were North Korean No-Dong missiles, possibly located at a site in either the city of Musalmiya in the northern part of Syria or further south around the city of Hama…

By most accounts of intelligence officials, both former and current, Israel and the US both were well aware of the activities of North Korea and Syria and their attempts to chemically weaponize the No-Dong missile (above right). It therefore remains unclear why an intricate story involving evidence of a Syrian nuclear weapons program and/or enriched uranium was put out to press organizations.

The North Korean missiles — described as “legacy” by one source and “older generation” by another — were not nuclear arms.

What set the Israelis in motion, according to RS, was that suspicious accident in July allegedly involving a malfunctioning chemical warhead and a bunch of dead Syrian and North Korean engineers. Why would Syria need medium-range missiles with a 1,300km radius to deliver chemical payloads to Tel Aviv when the country sits right on Israel’s doorstep? Ah — that’s the importance of the missiles being “older.” They were all Assad had available to him in this scenario. And why would they use Nodongs when they could get Shahab-3′s from their pals in Iran, which have almost the same range and are capable of carrying chemical warheads? Same reason, I guess: if you’ve got a bunch of aging Nodongs in the fridge, why not use them instead of springing for a new set of Shahabs? Of course, given the partnership between Iran and Syria, Iran might have been willing to cut them a deal or even supplied a few missiles gratis to keep the “Zionist entity” on its toes, but never mind that.

As for the unusual secrecy and whispers about a nuke program by the U.S. and Israel, that one’s easy. It’s just another Reichstag fire burning or about to burn. Of course, if the nuclear rumors are just a pretext for another round of neocon war, it makes no sense for Bush or Olmert to accuse North Korea of being the supplier instead of Iran. North Korea’s the rogue nation that’s actually kinda sorta playing ball lately; Iran’s the “problem child.” It’s the same pitfall the Truthers have with the fact that none of the 19 hijackers was Iraqi. If you’re going to cook up a conspiracy theory to explain a war, you’ll want that theory to finger the targeted nation as the patsy as clearly as possible. Not here. Oh well.

Finally, a former NSC/CIA honcho under Reagan tells RS that Syria’s nuke program is fledgling and thus they couldn’t do much with nuclear materials even if they had them. Right, but what if they were interested in something more than materials?


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Bibi Netanyahu for the win!!!

JayHaw Phrenzie on September 24, 2007 at 7:18 PM

I bet the IDF can pinpoint columbia U on a map…..

Who said that?!
*^^^^^

locomotivebreath1901 on September 24, 2007 at 7:24 PM

It sounds like Larisa has been talking with Richard No Brain Clark…

Zorro on September 24, 2007 at 7:31 PM

hmmm…I’m torn between hoping the story is accurate and there is no nuke material and IDF throwing a red herring out there…

oh decisions decisions…

Pilgrim on September 24, 2007 at 7:50 PM

This story, like all others concerning this air strike, probably has a bit of truth, but then proceeds to false conclusions. Something still doesn’t taste right, even with all the salt I have been taking with these stories! Also, no one from the administration has been leading anyone to believe that it was nuclear materials. So far all that info has been coming out of JPost, YNET, et al. Oh wait…I forgot…the Jooooooos run the country.

Weight of Glory on September 24, 2007 at 7:58 PM

Whatever it was it was important. To mount a 500 round trip raid into an enemy country means there were more then counterfeit Tickle-Me-Elmos in a crate.

Besides, I would believe Baghdad-Bob before I would believe anything from RAW(sewage).

Limerick on September 24, 2007 at 8:00 PM

counterfeit Tickle-Me-Elmos in a crate.
Limerick on September 24, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Halo 3 Maybe?

Weight of Glory on September 24, 2007 at 8:03 PM

The reason the nuclear angle was floated was to torpedo the six-party talks and resumption of discussions with North Korea on its nuclear program.

NPP on September 24, 2007 at 8:05 PM

Weight of Glory on September 24, 2007 at 7:58 PM

Limerick on September 24, 2007 at 8:00 PM

I suggested a couple of days ago that it was a missile site. I also suggested that it was a NK nuke. Now I have a new speculation to make.

Last year when NK set off their device they received a lot of ridicule because the yield was considerably lower than expected. What if, the yield wasn’t lower than what NK was expecting?

What if, NK specialized in very small low yield devices? Make the device small enough and it can go on almost any missile system. What if NK is making .5kt devices using P239? The warhead would only need about 15lbs of P239 total warhead weight could be around 65lbs.

doriangrey on September 24, 2007 at 8:14 PM

Beh, I’m tired of all these stories. Let’s just say, the IAF flew hundreds of miles into enemy airspace, somehow managed to jam the air defense system, bombed SOMETHING, and got back in one piece.

Until the Israelis tell us the official story, let’s just be astounded by the Israeli chutpah involved in such an operation.

mjk on September 24, 2007 at 8:16 PM

chutpah

Chutzpah, chutzpah, darn my crappy spelling!!!

mjk on September 24, 2007 at 8:17 PM

Of course Israel isnt going to say they sent the IDF in first and stole the nuke material before the airstrike blew up the missiles.

paulsur on September 24, 2007 at 8:21 PM

Of course Israel isnt going to say they sent the IDF in first and stole the nuke material before the airstrike blew up the missiles.

paulsur on September 24, 2007 at 8:21 PM

In fact what I would expect Israel to do is suggest that it was something other than nuclear weapons, oh something like chemical weapons.

doriangrey on September 24, 2007 at 8:49 PM

In fact what I would expect Israel to do is suggest that it was something other than nuclear weapons, oh something like chemical weapons.

doriangrey on September 24, 2007 at 8:49 PM

Nah, the Israelis never admit to anything. Even when they do something awesome. It took them years to admit they poisoned some guy with chocolates and exactly how they pulled of the air raids in 1967. It’s their MO – they just let crazy stories grow and grow. The crazy stories are just more fun to listen to. And scare the living bejeebers out of their neighbours.

mjk on September 24, 2007 at 8:58 PM

doriangrey on September 24, 2007 at 8:14 PM

That’s a really interesting theory. One thing that would jive with it would be the presence of Iranian officials in NK when they were testing some missiles. I can’t remember the exact date but I think it was about 6 months before they tested their nuke. The NK missile test had a couple medium and long range missile, and one that malfunctioned that supposedly had the range to hit Cal. So you may be on to something. Either way, this had to have been more than simply taking out missiles only. I’m waiting for the U.S. and Israel to speak at the U.N. I’ve got a feevah and the only prescription is smoking-gun evidence presented at the U.N.

Weight of Glory on September 24, 2007 at 9:13 PM

As far as this story goes be careful which story you believe and draw a conclusion from it. Something big was going on.I don’t think we will know the whole story.

KBird on September 24, 2007 at 9:23 PM

I like the fact that they can’t seem to tell us where the site of the attack was but they are sure, super-duper sure, what was there.

TBinSTL on September 24, 2007 at 9:45 PM

Nodongs, eh? What’s that saying about a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? What is it about this missile that reminds me of the little mini-dictator the North Koreans have?

smellthecoffee on September 24, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Tooting my own horn here, but I did raise the question of the site possibly being chemical or biological on an earlier thread.

Now I have another question, regarding the range of those missiles: How far is it from Syria to Ankara, Istanbul, and Riyadh?

Lancer on September 24, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Nah, the Israelis never admit to anything

I’m amazed at how the IDF they can keep its secrets, especially in view of the old Jewish saying that a secret is something you only tell one person at a time. Doh! I forgot. They don’t have like 50% of their country rooting for the other side! Must be that compulsory military service thingy, generating a commitment to success and survival. We, on the other hand, have Columbia University.

Memo to Columbia College Republicans: high profile invite of Larry Summers to come and speak–immediately!

smellthecoffee on September 24, 2007 at 10:21 PM

“No Dong” missiles??? Is that the same as calling them gutless?

thedecider on September 24, 2007 at 10:53 PM

They were Dong missiles until Israel got there.

km on September 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM

As Bob Barker always says, be sure to spay and neuter your projectiles.

km on September 25, 2007 at 12:01 AM

F15-I “Thunder”. Well, when you get up to “I” you’ve been around a while. Apparently 30-year-old American technology can still kick your shit’s ass, Vlad. Must be a bitch.

drunyan8315 on September 25, 2007 at 12:46 AM

“No Dong” missiles??? Is that the same as calling them gutless?

thedecider on September 24, 2007 at 10:53 PM

I wouldn’t say gutless. But something else-less. If you get my drift.

KelliD on September 25, 2007 at 9:52 AM

Do you think anybody’s every actually taken the NORKs aside and told them what “No-Dong” means in English?

The F-15I, incidentally, doesn’t get its “I” in alphabetical sequence, as is usually (though not always) the case with indigenously-procured US jets. The “I” in this case actually just stands for Israel.

Similarly, South Korea operates the F-15K and the Saudis the F-15S derivatives of the Strike Eagle.

Meanwhile the USAF has (inexplicably) started to label F-16C’s optimized for ground attack and wired for carriage of advanced targeting and optics pods the F-16CG, and those wired for employment of the Harm Targeting System pod the F-16CJ. Go figure.

Blacklake on September 25, 2007 at 11:01 AM

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the most blatant and vexing aberration: The F-35 should, of course, not be the F-35 at all but rather the F-24…or, perhaps, the F-25, as one could make a good argument that the F/A-18E/F, being essentially an all-new plane, should’ve received the F/A-24A/B designation.

What it all boils down to is they just don’t care anymore…

Blacklake on September 25, 2007 at 11:07 AM

My favorite story of relentless, highly skilled Israeli retribution with the terrorists is how the Mossad took out a terrorist bomb-maker known as “The Engineer” in Gaza a few years back.
.
“The Engineer” actually was a Palestinian with a degree in engineering, who’d subsequently made a career change to terrorist bomb-making. And being an engineer, his bombs were technically the best. They unfortunately killed many Israelis.
.
It took the Israelis several years to get this guy. Finally, they were able to bribe somebody with access to The Engineer to switch his cellphone for a specially prepared clone of his cellphone, with a small but very high tech, powerful bomb inside. The insider/informant did the switch somehow.
.
Here’s the best part: the head of the Mossad then placed a call to “The Engineer”, quickly identified himself and said here’s a message for you. He hit a button and the bomb went off, blowing off The Engineer’s head.
.
(Let’s hope the CIA can do “wet work” this well!)

DavePa on September 25, 2007 at 2:18 PM

What if NK is making .5kt devices using P239? The warhead would only need about 15lbs of P239 total warhead weight could be around 65lbs.

doriangrey on September 24, 2007 at 8:14 PM

A No-Dong missile with a puny nuke to shoot at God’s Chosen People? I don’t think so. Iran would do something like that to try and conjure up the 12th imam, but for Chinless, it would just confirm him as laughing stock if that plan got out.

pedestrian on December 30, 2007 at 7:22 PM