So it’s well known that Iran has forces in Syria.
For that matter, it seems Iran has forces all over the dang place. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen. . .
From the point of view of Iran, they still represent the as yet incomplete Islamic Revolution which doesn’t end until everyone joins, I guess. Or dies. Something.
So, anyway, beyond just having forces in Syria, Iran’s been getting press for a base it has in Syria.
Iran is building an underground tunnel to store missiles and large-scale weapons, according to satellite images obtained by Fox News and Western intelligence sources who reviewed the information.
The first image–taken by Image Sat International (ISI), an end-to-end geospatial intelligence solutions company, where construction of the tunnel can be seen–was captured on Oct. 5.
Two weeks later, a shed was used to hide the tunnel entrance from the air. Large dirt piles appeared at the opposite end of the tunnel as excavations continue.
Dash cunning of them to use that shed. Can’t believe their stealth shed tech didn’t thwart American satellites and aircraft and such.
Of course, maybe they didn’t expect to hide it, really, as this has been a thing for at least a couple of months.
The Iranian facility that was targeted with airstrikes multiple times this year after the existence of the base was revealed in a report by Fox News. The project was approved by top leadership in Tehran and is being completed by the Iranian al-Quds Forces.
In May, Fox News reported that Iran was building a border crossing not far from the new compound in Syria. Sources have expressed concern that Iranian troops and weapons could be easily moved to the Imam Ali military base using the crossing with Iraq.
The discovery of the tunnel construction comes after a report last week in the New York Times indicated that Iran is secretly moving hundreds of short range missiles to Iraq that are capable of hitting Israel, Saudi Arabia and US troops in the region.
I should mention here that Iran’s been getting press for a lot of things besides this base, most notably their ongoing attempt to pick a fight with basically anyone.
They’re allegedly currently firing alleged rockets allegedly at an alleged US installation in Baghdad which strikes the US basically refuses to acknowledge which is making Iran nuts.
Iran gets cranky when it doesn’t get enough attention.
What’s interesting here is that this is the first base Iran has tried to build from scratch in Syria.
And ostensibly it is getting press because Israel, allegedly—or someone, allegedly— is allegedly trying to blow it up.
Some of the reports came in mid-November when Israel fired rockets at Gaza and Damascus. It seems like when they launch a strike it’s often multiple simultaneous attacks and they can count on the most “famous” of the targets to get press while others pass almost unnoticed.
This report is more recent, though, from December 4th.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 P.M.) – New reports have surfaced this evening of unidentified warplanes bombing the Iranian base near the border city of Albukamal in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.
According to the reports, a powerful explosion was heard near the Iranian base in the Albukamal District around 7:45 P.M. (local time), with claims of unidentified warplanes hitting the warehouses at this installation.
Some activists have alleged that the airstrikes were carried out by the Israeli Air Force; however, this is not confirmed, nor are the airstrikes.
These claims are often made every few weeks by pro-militant publications with little evidence to corroborate them.
Wow, that report is a mess, which is interesting since it’s a pro-Assad paper so one would expect more resolution in the message.
Anyway, beyond the fact that the bombing is not alleged but happened, we’ve got three things:
- Iran is not just in Syria, but is working on a base.
- Somebody keeps trying to blow it up, and everyone thinks it’s Israel.
- It’s in Deir ez Zor, where the US has a presence.
However, it is also generally believed that Russian fighters chased Israeli jets away from attacking it the other day.
Jerusalem Post: Russian Su-35 jets scrambled to stop Israel over Syria – reports
The reports claim that “Israeli fighters had to flee from the Russian Su-35” and at the same time that “Iran delivered unknown air defense systems to Syria.”
Iranian and Russian media reported that Russian Sukhoi Su-35 warplanes were scrambled from Russia’s Khmeimim air base in northern Syria to intercept an alleged Israeli attack near the Tiyas Military Airbase, also known as the T-4 Airbase earlier this month. The report on the alleged attack on the Syrian Arab Air Force base east of Homs was first put online in a blog at Avia. It was picked up by the website Almasdar News. The Tasnim News in Iran then claimed that the Su-35s sought to intercept Israeli planes over Syria.
The reports claim that “Israeli fighters had to flee from the Russian Su-35” and at the same time that “Iran delivered unknown air defense systems to Syria.” The T-4 base is a well-known transit point for Iranian weapons, and has Russian personnel stationed there. Israel has been accused of striking the area in the past. In May 2018, Ynet said that Israel carried out an airstrike to destroy an Iranian 3rd Khordad Air Defense system at T-4. Syria claimed more airstrikes hit the area in June and July of this year and September last year.
This slayed me though.
The reports at the Avia website follow other reports at the same site that often write sensational accounts about alleged Israeli actions in Syria. For instance, the same site reported on December 8 that “Israel is preparing new strikes on Syria.” Al-Masdar News reported that the Iranian Bavar-373 air defense was deployed to the area. Both reports appeared to rely on a Twitter account named @Syrian_MC for their information. That account indicated that Russia had scrambled its jets and that the “incident” ended on December 6.
Oh no! The media has discovered that you can learn stuff online! I’ll be out of a job!
Initially, I thought this was part of some kind of meta- or performative war where the states show off doing secret target hits on one another or force another party’s move by threat of force instead of kinetic force. Or something.
And then I saw people slagging off the Su-35 altogether.
But sometimes the game is just getting people to understand or believe in their capabilities.
Like, it appears the US has conducted two unclaimed the airstrikes, the second of which they dropped a bundle of frikken swords through the center of a not-yet existent moon roof on a Subaru. They claimed responsibility for neither. Nobody on the ground thinks anyone else could have done it.
Which, if they did it, is necessarily part of the point. Frikken ninjas.
So, like, is the Su-35 a thing? That appears to be the meta game even above Israel and Iran shooting at each other in Syria.
Who can know?
The press seems to get a fair amount of information for allegedly unidentified things that may or may not have happened nobody saw nuthin’ y’hear?
Jerusalem Post: At least 5 Iran-backed militia members killed on Iraqi border
Five militia members were killed in the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Five Iranian militia members were killed after unidentified aircraft attacked Iranian warehouses in Al-Bukamal in the Deir Ezzor area of eastern Syria near the Iraqi border on Saturday night, according to Syrian media. This is the second attack in the Al Bukamal area in the past four days.
The attack targeted three weapons depots belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the area, according to the Step news agency. Large explosions were reported in the area and some Iranian militias escaped the area after the attack in fear of additional attacks.
OK, at this point, there’s a lot of stuff here and a lot going on. Like, a lot.
Let’s look back at the older report on Iran’s base.
The classified Iranian project, called the Imam Ali compound, was approved by top leadership in Tehran and is being completed by the Iranian al-Quds Forces.
There’s tons of satellite images everywhere but as usual with this ongoing story—Israel keeps launching attacks at this place, allegedly—they keep omitting an explanation of where it is besides “near the border.”
It appears to be at our favorite contested border crossing.
How does that get left out of all these stories? Like, the sheer magnitude of the strategic importance of the location would seem like something to make the stories.
To say nothing of, like, oh say, how the hell is there an Iranian base there with the US forces in the region? And there are Russians in the Iraian base? And Russian and Israeli fighters are chasing each other around over the US and SDF forces in the area.
Oh yeah, remember the SDF? How did Rojava get erased from the narrative in this part of the war?
That’s pretty typical, actually, now that I think about it: There’s always some reason for people to feel this isn’t really about Rojava. And it’s dumb.
So I have no idea what is going on down there in the southeast but it appears to be a mess.
Somewhere along the way, though, Syria just said to heck with it and put out a concise and effective report.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:20 P.M.) – The Iranian air defense system has been deployed in for several months now, a source from the Syrian military told Al-Masdar News from Damascus.
According to the source, the Iranian Armed Forces deployed one of their air defense systems to the T-4 Airbase in eastern Homs after a big attack by the Israeli military killed several IRGC personnel at the installation.
The source said that in addition to the Iranian air defense system at the T-4 Airbase, the Russian military also has their own weapons at the installation to protect their forces in case of an attack.
In regards to the alleged interception of an Israeli warplane by the Russian Su-35, the source said he could not confirm these claims because the Russian forces in Syria have not divulged this information.
The T-4 Airbase in Syria is one of the only installations in Syria that has both an Iranian and Russian presence.
During the Syrian Army’s operation to retake Albukamal and several other areas east of the Euphrates, the Russian and Iranian armed forces used the T-4 Airbase to attack the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) positions.
However, since mid-2018, the base has mostly just housed military personnel from both the Russian and Iranian armed forces.
Alright, so everyone’s known about this place all along? But, like, other people didn’t know that we should have already known all this?
This is a recurring theme in this conflict. Something happens and there is this flurry of activity and surprise. And then it turns out many of the facts had been well known for awhile. And they’ve been around awhile because they’ve been in motion for some time.
Which is why maybe it shouldn’t have been surprising that some of this is a proxy war dance between Israel and Iran.
“If Israel makes the smallest mistake toward Iran, we will settle Tel Aviv with soil from Lebanon,” said Maj. Gen. Murtaza Qurbani, adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander.
In response to Israeli statements about launching military action against Tehran, he added, “Iran is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, and Israel is too small to make any mistake towards Iran … the hand of our fighters is on the trigger by order of the Supreme Leader … if the guide orders a missile attack on Israel, all Zionists will surrender their hands surrender … We will cut their ears apart, and we are not afraid of the germs of corruption. ”
He continued: “The hearts and souls of the people of Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq with Iran, and the recent events in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran aim to strike at the unity of the resistance front, including the Islamic Republic.”
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett threatened to make Syria Vietnam for Iran, vowing to prevent Iranian military concentration in Syrian territory, calling for a shift from deterrence to attack.
Not very neighbor-like, is it?
Weird FakeMedia and the like (and ZeroHedge?) are pushing this reference to Israel saying it will make Syria into Iran’s Vietnam, but this is the only MSM type reference I can find right now.
Haaretz: Israel’s Defense Chief Warns Iran: Syria Will Become Your Vietnam
Comments by Naftali Bennett follow remark from Israel’s foreign minister, who was quoted as saying Israel would consider striking Iran if it came close to being nuclear-capable
Israel’s defense minister warned Iran against its continued presence in Syria, saying Israel will “work tirelessly” to prevent the establishment of a stable Iranian military presence in the war-torn country.
“It is no secret that Iran is trying to establish a ring of fire around our country, it is already based in Lebanon and is trying to establish in Syria, Gaza and more,” Naftali Bennett said on Sunday at a conference held by Makor Rishon, an Israeli newspaper associated with the religious right. “We need to move from containment to attack.”
“We say to Iran: Syria will become your Vietnam,” Bennett added.
OK, so since we’re into fighting words, let’s compare that Israeli paper’s account to whatever is being amplified by ZeroHedge for whomever they are helping.
I’m sure they have their reasons. Who knows?
Days after top US defense officials warned they had credible intelligence of a major Iran threat against American troops and interests in the region (though as usual the anonymously sourced ‘evidence’ was not forthcoming), a top Israeli military leader has put the region on notice, suggesting the possibility of yet more ‘preemptive strikes’ on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and even possibly Iran itself.
Israel’s ultra-hawkish defense minister Naftali Bennett has warned the IDF is ready to give Iran its own ‘Vietnam’ in new remarks vowing the Islamic Republic will never get a firm foothold there.
Addressing an Israeli conference on Sunday, Bennett further stated “it is no secret that Iran is trying to establish a ring of fire around our country, it is already based in Lebanon and is trying to establish itself in Syria, Gaza and more.”
“If we are determined, we can take Iran’s aggression forces out of Syria. They have nothing to look for on the borders of the State of Israel. We say to Iran: Syria will become your Vietnam. If you do not come out, you will bleed because we will work tirelessly until you take the forces of aggression out of Syria,” he stated.
Israel a mere weeks ago conducted what was said to be one of the largest single missile and air attacks against ‘Iranian targets’ in and around Damascus throughout the entirety of the war. And in a worrisome prospect for a continued broader war, the Israeli defense minister urged, “We need to move from containment to attack.”
Since this is clearly another war within the war. As such reports like these are often not just describing the war but themselves are parts of the conflict, ways in which the fighting entities interact and posture.
Which makes it fun to chase down sources. ZeroHedge’s source? US backed Radio Free Iran. Well, Radio Free Europe in Iran.
I didn’t know that was still a thing.
And then Radio Free Annoy the Enemy had another source to a Jewish modern Orthodox paper in Brooklyn that has a large daily circulation but otherwise, seems odd for a scoop like this.
Iran and Israel having their own little Vietnam. But at this point, it’s hard to tell what is bluster and saber rattling and what is real—especially when what passes for saber rattling here involves casualties and deaths.
So yeah: Iran is crawling around Syria, so I figured it was worth taking a look. They also have militias fighting in Idlib but so does everyone in the world it seems sometimes. Everyone who wants to fight, anyway.