Syria, Western Intervention

Israeli Bombing of Syria, April 30 2018: Insights and Questions

Did Russia Allow the Attack?
By Kennedy Applebaum

Written for Quemado Institute
May 3, 2018

Syria expert and reliable on-the-scene Twitter source @A_J_S_B, in tweets posted between April 29 and May 1, offers us some curious insights about Israel’s April 30, 2018 attack on Hama and Aleppo in Syria.

Apparently Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-15’s, fitted with Glide Bombers, penetrated Syrian air space by flying east and curving back over the Euphrates. Using this roundabout route, they were able to by-pass Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian radar, which is mostly located in the west.

The biggest question remains: Why did Russia not have defenses on Syria’s eastern flank?

The IAF used F-15’s in order to avoid detection, as AJSB explains below. According to this source, based on the targets hit, the attack had nothing to do with Iran or Hezbollah, but was clearly designed to cripple Loyalist operations against ISIS.

AJSB, if I understand his tweets correctly, also contends that Russia detected the attacking planes, yet did nothing to intercept them. The curious issue of why Russia did not stop the attack has been widely discussed on alternate internet sites.

Click to enlarge. Map of Syria. Aleppo top left, Hama left of center. (–Google maps)

Contrary to suspicions reported by Veteran’s Today, AJSB confirms Israel used BunkerBuster bombs and not tactical nuclear weapons. This issue has also been discussed in comment sections on alternate sites such as The Saker and Russia Insider, many readers believing the Israelis did indeed use tactical nukes. The Saker himself contends they did not (and has forbidden further discussion of the topic).

AJSB’s tweets paint an impressionist picture of the attack on Syria, with hints about why Israel may have carried it out. Albeit sketchy, the transcript is worth the read, as I’ve found few other detailed reports on the incident. (See also Impact and Effects of April 30 Strikes Against Syria: Winds of War Blowing Strong by Arkady Savitsky at Strategic Culture Foundation.)

Below is a transcript of AJSB’s tweets, edited only for punctuation, typos and abbreviations. The tweets are presented in chronological order from earliest to latest.

Our experience with AJSB during the Donbass conflict in 2014 and 2015 ranks him among the most reliable of war reporters. However, we do not know AJSB’s identity or affiliation, and suggest that readers use judgment.

@A_J_S_B Selected Tweets: Israeli Strike on Syria

April 29:

“UNCONFIRMED – Things are heating up: Israel or USA are suspect of hit Brigade47 ammo warehouses with missiles.”

“UPDATE: Seems to be an attack from Israel.”

“UNCONFIRMED: Attacking planes APPARENTLY entered from Turkey airspace. Targets were Iran-related.”

“CORRECTION: The MISSILE ATTACK WAS INCOMING FROM Tanf side, Russia detected attack, did NOTHING to intercept it.”

April 30:

“Get ready for the next FalseFlag: After it’s attack on Iranian bases on Syrian soil with BunkerBuster bombs, Israel will present today ‘evidence’ that Iran didn’t comply with Nuclear Deal. I bet that the ‘evidence’ was manufactured by CIA & delivered to him by Pompeo.”

“The timing for this presentation of the so-called ‘Israeli’ ‘evidence’ of Iran ‘no-compliance’ is clearly connected to Trump Nuclear Deal deadline. It’s all fitting in place and all my predictions of last two years will come true.”

“Lesson from latest Israeli attack: Syrian AA defences need to be 100% of the time in High Alert & not only when Trump bitches. Israel achieved doing against SAA missile base in Hama what USA, UK & France together with more than 100 Cruise Missiles completely failed.”

“Here we go: Pompeo & Jordan’s King agreed on ‘urgent need’ to confront Iran’s ‘destabilizing activities’ in Syria.”

“EVERYTHING that was hit by Israel at Brigade47 has nothing to do with Hezbollah, Lebanon or with an imaginary attack from Iran with what was stored there. Everything destroyed only cripples operations of Loyalist forces against ISIS and also the so-called ‘moderate rebels’.”

“Using as disguise Iran’s presence in Syria, the real target of Israel was Syrian efforts to get rid of TERRORISTS in its soil.”

AJSB Retweeted Ian56: “…ergo I was right when I said that Pompeo handed over the ‘evidence’ to Netanyahu during his visit to Israel.” AJSB replies: “Those files are from 1999 to 2003 & Israel did NOT just smuggle them out of Iran. They have been freely available to US intel for over a decade.”

May 1:

“…and USA did it again: UsAF bombarded civilians in Hasakah killing 30+. Keep going…your, France and PKK popularity are for sure on the rise in East Euphrates.”

“…and for the record, almost all were Women and Children.”

“ISIS will NOT last till end of next Weekend in Yarmouk. They are being completely mowed till the last MF.”

“Mattis confirms: USA will NOT exit Syria after ISIS total defeat. It wants to FORCE a Western-led ‘Political Solution’.”

“Israel used Euphrates East Bank Syrian Air Space & USA-led coalition planes to sneak in & take advantage of poor Radar coverage in Eastern Syria by SAA to make the last attack. I said long long ago that Russia/SAA had to deploy effective AA in East but no one listened.”

“Israel planes (almost for sure F-15 & NOT F-35 as some incorrectly said) flown over Jordan, then Iraq, then entered Syria Air Space over Eastern Bank of Euphrates all the way up till being near enough to Aleppo & Hama to launch attack with Gliding Bombs (which are F-15 compatible).”

“[Israeli planes] were detected near Tanf, that’s what made the confusion about attack coming from South, but those were decoys in_transit. Air strike witness thought they came from Turkey but they didn’t, they actually made a long turn to circumvent all SAA AA deployed West.”

“Of course USAF ‘cooperated’ with IAF. IAF intermixed their planes with USAF as they were in transit & yeah, probably shared IDs, and the use of F-15 increased the probability of blend in because USAF use F-15 in Syria & S400 could have detected the F35.”

“Some time ago Loyalist supporters here at Twitter were cheerful because deployment of new Radar(s) in East Sector of Loyalist controlled area in West Bank (IIRC, T4…yeah), but CLEARLY they didn’t read Radar Specs. That ‘Radar’ is for air traffic & only ‘reads’ TRANSPONDERS.”

“IAF have 84 (THAT’S EIGHTY FOUR) F-15A/B/C/D/I aircraft in service as of November 2017.”

“Even IAF’s F-15D are upgraded for use of Glide bombs.”

“So, the ONLY thing that that ‘Radar’ detects is the transponder. Guess what, Sherlock? In a Military Combat situation, specially in a Covert-op, they SWITCH OFF THE TRANSPONDERS. That ‘Radar’ is as useful as brick to detect military planes in such cases.”

“USA ‘Officials’ confirm to NBCNews on condition of anonymity: Attack against Iran bases in Syria was done by Israeli F15 planes.”

“Besides those ‘Radars’ and to be more specific, as for AA Radars goes, there isn’t almost ANYTHING in eastern part of Syria under Loyalist control that is related with AA defences, EVERYTHING was deployed to the West flank, i.e. nearer to Lebanon, Israel & Russian base.”

“East flank at most is defended by some Verba and ‘maybe’ some Pantsir in Deir Ezzor City, that’s it, flank completely exposed, not even covered by S400 Radar from Russian base at detection level, IIRC range, there’s a gap in coverage for detection not to mention, interception.”

QI Editor’s Update

Tuesday May 8, 2018 at 20:00 UTC

(1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time)

Israeli airstrikes are occurring now at this moment in South Damascus. Loud explosions heard near Damascus. Some say Irael struck IRGC base at Al-Kaweh. Others report blasts at al-Kiswah. The Israelis are apparently targeting Syria Army positions. One Twitter source reports the Syrian Air Defense shot down two Israeli missiles in the al-Kaswa area in southern Damascus. This attack is happening less than two hours after Trump withdrew from Iran deal. More reports in a few hours.



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