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Giving a supposed excuse, US convinced Syria to disable its elite GPS missile tracking system on 6/30/19. On the same day, with Syria’s defenses down, Israel launched a massive attack on Syria’s air defense system-Mint Press News, 8/28/19

September 1, 2019

Prior to the [highly unusual US plan for June 30 bombing in Syria] execution, the U.S. reportedly communicated with Russia to request Syrian forces to disable their GPS jamming equipment so as not to interfere with the [US] airstrike [on 6/30-7/1].“…With Syria’s defenses disabled thanks to the US on June 30-July 1, “Israel carried out its biggest attack against Syria’s air defense since 1982. The attack ultimately killed 16 Syrian civilians near Damascus….and served to significantly weaken Syria’s air-defense capabilities.”…

8/28/19, “Recent Israeli Attacks “Significantly Weakened” Syria’s Air-Defense Systems,” Mint Press News, Robert Inkalesh

“While an attack of this scale on virtually any sovereign nation aside from Syria would likely provoke a major response from the international community, this Israeli attack has barely registered.”

On the night of June 30 until the early morning of July 1, 2019, Israel carried out its biggest attack against Syria’s air defense since 1982. The attack ultimately killed 16 Syrian civilians near Damascus and injured 12 Syrian military personnel in Homs. This was the extent of the damage revealed at the time but, according to Syrian military sources, the damage was much more severe and served to significantly weaken Syria’s air-defense capabilities.

Many questions have gone unanswered about what truly happened during that attack, how it happened, and what implications the attack may have.

According to a Syrian Air Defense officer who writes post-mission reports, and who spoke to MintPress on condition of anonymity owing to security concerns, Israel delivered a brutal blow during the June 30 attacks, resulting in the lowering of Syria’s air defense capabilities by roughly 60 percent. It is estimated that Israel fired upwards of 150 cruise missiles at Syria’s early-warning air-defense systems, completely destroying at least five of the targeted systems. All of the systems targeted were specifically responsible for dealing with Israeli airstrikes and in total were worth up to $500 million.

The attack was a violation of the sovereignty of Syrian territory as well as a violation of the UN Charter of 1945, with the use of force by states in this manner being considered illegal under customary international law as well as by treaty law. But perhaps the most revealing detail of the airstrikes is that they constitute the largest attack on Syrian Air Defense since Operation Mole Cricket 19, on June 9, 1982, conducted by Israel towards the end of the Lebanon-Israel war. It is also the largest single attack by Israel on Syrian territory since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Israeli-U.S. coordination?

As it has demonstrated during the ongoing Syrian war, Syria has built a reputation for its air-defense capabilities. Syrian air defenses posed a considerable challenge for enemies of the embattled country, including Israel, attempting to pull off successful attacks. While some missiles would get through and hit their targets, Syria was able to deal with strikes conducted against it by the U.S., U.K., France and Israel without sustaining too much damage, many times deflecting the bulk of the incoming missiles. These defense capabilities were further bolstered by the more recent addition of the Russian S-300 air-defense systems to Syria’s arsenal. Syria was able to down Israeli fighter jets and drones, and shoot down the majority of Israel’s incoming missiles.

Israel had grown frustrated at Syria’s increasingly effective air-defense capabilities and, with the latest spat of strikes, sought to act on that frustration. It was reported in May of this year that Israel was attempting to locate Syria’s air-defense systems, sending drones and even balloons into Syrian airspace to identify potential targets.

It is also likely that the U.S. coordinated with Israel in setting Syria up for such a bombardment.On the morning of June 30, before Israel began its own airstrikes, the United States launched an unprecedented strategic airstrike against two leaders of an Al Qaeda-linked militant group in Western Aleppo, called Hurras al-Deen. [This was the first time in two years that US had attempted to strike Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in northwestern Syria.] The strike was highly unusual, as the United States ordinarily strikes areas of Syria where there are no air defenses and it is not a usual thing for it to target groups that control what is deemed as the Idlib pocket. Prior to the execution, the U.S. reportedly communicated with Russia to request Syrian forces to disable their GPS jamming equipment so as not to interfere with the airstrike. The U.S. was able to kill six militants and the Syrian government, assuming the U.S. was looking to launch more attacks against militant groups, kept its GPS jamming equipment offline.

Not the “normal” attack

When the Israeli onslaught finally came, it perhaps not surprisingly rendered a bigger challenge for Syria’s air defenses than usual. Syrian forces were not expecting such a large attack and, from the size of the bombardment, is clear that Israel planned the operation in advance. The usual Israeli attacks, of which there have been hundreds during the course of the Syrian war, consisted of 60 missiles at most — Israel used in excess of 100 during this attack….

The sheer scale of the Israeli attack left Syria so isolated that it was forced to focus primarily on defending its own surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites, leaving much of the rest of the country exposed, a fact Israel then exploited….

Israel refused to comment on the attacks and no explanation was given as to why it conducted them. While an attack of this scale on virtually any other sovereign nation would likely provoke a major response from the international community, this attack has barely registered.”

 

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