Tuesday, September 19, 2017

19-Sep-17: An Iranian drone dispatched in Israel's direction from Syria is intercepted en route

An IDF Patriot battery ready for action [Image Source]
All the ominous recent talk about Iran's massively increased financial capacity - thanks to its JCPOA deal with the Obama administration
- to feed its voracious appetite for military adventurism in our part of the world just became significantly more worrisome this afternoon.
The Israeli Air Force intercepted what it believes to be an Iranian-built drone, sent by the Hezbollah terrorist organization, with a Patriot missile after it attempted to cross into Israeli airspace on Tuesday, the army said. The military also scrambled fighter jets to the area, but ultimately did not need to use them as the interceptor missile was able to destroy the target. [According to an IDF spokesperson] the air force monitored the unmanned aerial vehicle from its take-off from Damascus airport to the demilitarized zone that separates the Israeli and Syrian Golan Heights. [When it crossed] the Syrian border and entered the demilitarized zone — but not Israeli airspace — the IDF “decided to intercept it,” [the spokesperson] said. ["IDF Patriot intercepts apparent Hezbollah drone from Syria", Times of Israel, September 19, 2017]
The report says the Patriot interceptor missile was fired from a military site near the city of Safed.

Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi under watchful gaze of his
ideological masters [Image Source]
Iran has not been shy for decades about its genocidal (understand the word literally) intentions when it comes to the Jewish state:
Iran’s newly appointed army chief warned Monday that the Islamic Republic would raze the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the “Zionist regime” makes “any wrong move.” In remarks delivered at an event in the city of Qom, General Abdolrahim Mousavi also echoed previous warnings that Israel will not exist in 25 years. Mousavi, who issued a nearly identical threat last month, was appointed in August as the commander of the Iranian army, an entity separate from the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps... [Source]
The sabre-rattling of Iran's entire power structure is generally taken seriously around here. An Associated Press report reminds us that Israeli leaders across the military and political spectrum are
worried that as the Syrian civil war appears to be winding down, Iranian and Hezbollah forces will maintain a permanent presence in the neighboring country. Netanyahu was to address the U.N. General Assembly later on Tuesday, with Iran at the top of his agenda... [Netanyahu] has repeatedly warned that Israel will not accept a military presence by Iran or any of its Shiite allies in the Syrian border area near Israel. Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria. But it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged arms shipments bound for Hezbollah. It fears the group will gain sophisticated weapons and smuggle them from Syria into Lebanon.
From a 2014 report on the IDF's blog:
The Patriot surface-to-air missile system, officially known as the MIM-104, is an important part of Israel’s aerial defense. Designed by the American company Raytheon, this ground-to-air, long-range missile is able to intercept and shoot down all types of aircraft. Drones, helicopters and fighter jets can all be targeted from a distance of 160 km.

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