- South Front Published on Apr 4, 2019
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continue their bombing campaign in Syria. In the framework of this campaign, IDF aircraft strike what the Israeli leadership describes as Iranian infrastructure and weapon shipments to Hezbollah and pro-Iranian armed groups. Nonetheless, positions and equipment of the Syrian Armed Forces often appear to be target of Israeli strikes allegedly aimed solely against Iran. In rare cases, when Israel publicly admits strikes in Syria, it claims that the SAF is being targeted because of its “hostile actions” towards Israeli missiles and aircraft entering Syrian airspace.
The unofficial and illegal pattern of Israeli strikes, the double-faced public attitude of the Israeli leadership as well as the unwillingness of Syrian and Iranian forces to admit any damage and casualties caused by Israeli actions hinder efforts to get a real assessment of the effectiveness of the IDF military campaign. Taking into account that the IDF provided little details even into officially declared strikes, this breeds grounds for wild media speculations and rumors. On the one hand, Syrian and Iranian media demonstrate a classic example of “there were no casualties” coverage. On the other hand, US and Israeli media, and sometimes even official Tel Aviv, time and time again destroy almost entire Iranian military infrastructure and even Syrian air defense system, which then mysteriously resurface by a next Israeli strike.
Despite this, the jets and weapons list employed by the IDF against targets in Syria are an open secret. The core of the Israeli Air Force striking force is the F-16I Sufa. This warplane is a modified variant of the F-16D block 50 and 52 fighter and ground attack aircraft. The F-16I, which has a crew of two, differs from the original F-16 by modified avionics and weapons systems.
“Iran doesn’t frighten me and I don’t think it should frighten the American people. They don’t have a bomb. They haven’t made a decision to build one. They don’t have the means to deliver one. And the Israelis have 300 atomic bombs! I mean who presents the existential threat to whom?” – Pat Buchanan (7:58 onwards)