Friday, July 14, 2006

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize…

Re(1): ‘F-16 Fighting Falcon’, FAS Military Analysis Network
Re(2): ‘Extending the F-16 range’, Defense Update
Re(3): ‘Iran Special Weapons Facilities’,
Re(4): 'CIA Factbook - The Middle East Map', CIA Factbook

Israel may strike Syria with ground forces - and hold ground.


The Osirak reactor was about 1,200 km from Israel..

That, in 1981, was the absolute outer limit of the bombing range of an F-16. There have been numerous improvements to the range and lethality of the F-16. This includes an extension to the combat range of the current variant – as described by ‘Extending the F-16 range’ in Defense Update. Per this article, Israel purchased these enhancements on or before 2004.

Now let us fast forward to Summer 2006…

Iran is sponsoring terror at Israel’s southern border

Syria is sponsoring terror at Israel’s northern border

Iran is ranting about obliterating Israel from the face of the earth.

But, Iraq – and thus American airspace – lies between Israel and Iran. It is very problematic to expect American armed forces to permit an Israeli air strike through their airspace – such permission would more than imply a coordinated effort. Would America accede to that? Personally, I think not.

Thus, the Iranian WMD sites are most likely beyond Israeli F-16 range as currently deployed. Even with American cooperation - which is problematic.

Let us assume that Israel has a few options to deal with Hezbollah and Hamas. Why chose an option that includes a significant ground campaign and an attack on an ‘innocent’ nation – ie. Syria.


One reason becomes clear when you look at a map.

Because the eastern portion of Syria is within F-16 combat range of the vast majority of Iranian WMD facilities and missile launch sites.

Thus, feint to Lebanon, strike Damascus, set up a combat airfield on that eastern appendage, and fly through an unpopulated portion of Turkish airspace to hit Iran's WMD development and deployment sites.

1 comment:

Utopia Parkway said...

Very interesting. The problem is that Syria doesn't border on Iran so the Israelis would still have to cross either Iraqi or Turkish air space to reach Iran. They would need to make hundreds or more sorties. After this news hits the front pages the US and Turkish air forces would have to do something about it or be branded as "collaborators."

I think your thinking is right though. Israel can attack Iran, with air power, it's just a matter of gaining a forward base. I think it will be in southern Iran, along the the coast. They'll make an amphibious and aerial attack. They need to hold it for a few days or a week. They need to be able to ferry materiel there, which is the hard part.

The Iranian military is very weak. Their whole defense is based on a poison pill. They will send massive retaliation by rocket and chemical weapon and terrorist attack against anyone who attacks them. But they probably can't defend themselves against an attack by a modern army.