Crossfire War – Reasons Behind Israel’s Air Strikes in First Phase of Fighting

Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Jerusalem; Reasons Behind Israel Air Force Strikes in First Phase of Fighting – Iran Revolutionary Guards Prepare Hezbollah with New Capabilities – Zalzal Rockets Launched from Freighters

Night Watch: BEIRUT – The following is a summary of an article written by retired Israeli Colonel Yoram East that I received from associated site NewsBlaze. It outlines the reasons behind Israel’s air strategy during the first phase of fighting against Iran-Hezbollah in July – August and why Israel launced a massive response after the Israel Defence Force patrol was attacked and two of its soldiers captured on the 12th. [NEWSBLAZE]

According to intelligence sources Israel discovered that Tehran had equipped Hezbollah with chemical weaponry that could be used on the warheads of Zalzal rockets. Iran’s chemical warfare center is based near the city of Damghan 180 miles (300km) east of Tehran. It produces 1,000 tons of various chemical warfare agents a year. Such information was reason for Israel’s retaliation and the targeting of any Hezbollah depot that was connected to Zalzal rockets.

The second priority for air strikes was south Beirut which is the center of Hezbollah offices and communications. Israel never really put much priority on killing Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, as most analysts thought and was publicized by network media. It’s part of media and the public’s obsession which believes the leader is everything as if he’s a deity of some kind. But in reality in the residences of south Beirut there were also special apartments used by Iranian weapons of mass destruction experts whenever they were in Beirut for the training of Hezbollah.

On the fourth day of fighting Tehran-Damascus realized they could use the war to test some of the Chinese made C-802 cruise missiles. Since their weapon systems are too large to be transported and smuggled through mountain passes they had to be transported by a Syrian military truck convoy. The convoy passed through Telkalakh, Syria which is right across from Lebanon’s northern border to Tripoli. Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah trainees arrived directly from Tehran. Hezbollah was able to launch three of the missiles one of which damaged an Israeli warship while the other two hit freighters. This was the reason why, after the first cruise missile attack, Israel then destroyed every road, bridge and road junction, that led from Syria into Lebanon.

Intelligence sources seem to suggest that during the next phase of fighting, that could begin this month based on the re-supplying of Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guards have presented Hezbollah with some new capabilities. The most important one seems to be the launching of modified Zalzal rockets from medium sized boats and freighters in the Mediterranean off Israel’s coast. With their effective range of 40-50 miles they could hit Tel Aviv from offshore. A year ago linked to an article from Sea Power magazine of the Navy League of the United States that mentioned Iran was testing the firing of Scud missiles from oil platforms and freighters.

Hezbollah may now also be able to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the Mirsad-1 and the Ababil equipped with cameras and global positioning systems (GPS) directly controlled from Tehran. With precise surveillance it is possible for rockets to be targeted more accurately.

Editor – Whatever changes and modifications Tehran-Damascus are having Hezbollah make, the next phase of the war will definitely be fought over a much wider range, involve more countries, and have a much more serious regional impact, which will also engulf areas and regions that border West Asia. That range and impact have already been discussed at The news will simply add more detail. What the above article by Col. Yoram East really seems to suggest is that Tehran used the 34-day war against Jerusalem primarily for practice. Lessons and tactics Tehran has learned will be used on a much larger, (f)allout, deadly scale against the West and India.

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.