Newsletter : 18fx0925.txt
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Russia Declares Electronic War on Israel Ranging over Syria, E. Mediterranean
The Israeli security cabinet has been called into urgent session on Tuesday on the
crisis with Russia over the downed IL-20, before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu travels
to New York for the UN General Assembly.
Within two weeks, Russia will arm Syria with S-300 air defense systems and start jamming
navigation in the E. Mediterranean two of the three measures announced by Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Monday "in response to Israel's role in downing the
Russian IL-20" on Sept. 17.
Syria's air defense electronic capacities will be boosted to level that of Russian forces
in the country. But the most significant measure announced by Shoigu was: "Russia will jam
satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which
attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the regions over the waters of the
Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria." The Russian minister stressed that if these
measures "fail to cool hotheads, [He was referring to Israel.], we will have to respond in
line with the current situation."
The crucial measure he announced is not the arming of Syria for the first time with S-300
systems which Moscow withheld in the past at Israel's request but the
jamming of navigation. DEBKAfile's military experts point out that this the first time a
major world power has declared electronic war against any country. After rejecting
Israel's version of the Ilyushin crash with 15 Russian members of the armed forces aboard
as untruthful, Moscow had thrown down the electronic gauntlet before the IDF and pitched
the dispute onto a much higher elevation. This challenge confronts Netanyahu and Chief of
Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot with three tough options:
They could have sought a way out of this high-stakes showdown with Moscow up until Monday.
But now, it is too late. Shoigu slammed the door shut on a quiet exit. However, Israel is
even more unable to give up on its air offensive against Iranian and its proxies' presence
in Syria, despite the escalated risk of a clash with the Russians, because it would
constitute a humiliating comedown against Iran and Hizbullah. However, in future, the IDF
may be more cautious and select its targets with greater circumspection.
They could meet Moscow's challenge for an electronic duel. In previous encounters, Israel
came of best. In 1982, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a Russian air defense network
installed by Russia in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley; and more recently, in 2007, Israeli
planes, before destroying the Iranian-North Korean plutonium reactor in Deir Ez-Zour,
activated its "Suter" system to "blind" the Syrian/Russian radar protecting the site.
Russian electronic warfare specialists have since sought answers for Israel's jamming
measures, but have found it difficult to catch up with is constant advances. However, this
time may be different. DEBKAfile reports that the latest Russian challenge may stretch
Israel's Air Force and Navies beyond their capacity. While successful in coping with
electronic antagonists over small targets in the past, they now see the Russian Defense
Minister painting a large arena of many hundreds of kilometers covering Syria and the
eastern Mediterranean for the new challenge. Israel lacks operational experience on this
scale of electronic warfare.
The IDF is much less worried about the impending delivery of S-300 missiles systems to
Bashar Assad's army. For years, the IAF has been practicing combat against these
batteries. But for taking on massive Russian jamming across the eastern Mediterranean,
Israel may have to turn to the United States for assistance. This request may be raised
when Netanyahu meets President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Sept. 26, on the sidelines of
the UN General Assembly in New York.
Russia Throws Israel Under the Bus
By IsraelNationalNews.com (Analysis by Yochanan Visser)
On Sunday and Monday, it became clear that Russia is using the downing of an Ilyushin
IL-20 reconnaissance airplane last week as an excuse to change the rules of the game in
the Syrian war and has now thrown Israel under the bus in its war against Iran.
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry presented its investigation in the incident which
killed 15 Russian servicemen. The Russian Defense ministry stuck to its opinion that
Israel was to blame for the downing of the IL-20, although it was shot down by a Syrian
S-200 surface to air missile (SAM). This occurred minutes after four IAF F16I warplanes
attacked Syrian or Iranian targets in Assad's home base Latakia in northwestern Syria.
The Russians again said that the IAF planes hid behind the IL-20, something which is
technically impossible, and accused the Israeli military of "unprofessional or criminally
negligent actions, at the very least."
Former IAF pilot and Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told media last week that
"you can't hide behind a plane" and called the Russian claims "unprofessional and attempts
to clear the Syrians of guilt." Also, as Arutz Sheva reported last week, the Israeli
F-16's were flying at very low altitude - a tactic which has proven to be the right way to
avoid being hit by an S-200 missile while the IL-20 was at least 35 kilometers away
and flying at a much higher altitude.
The IAF furthermore presented the Russians with its own reconstruction of the tragic
event. The IAF unequivocally stated that the four F-16's were already back in Israeli
airspace when the Syrian military randomly fired 20 S-200 missiles in all directions for
more than 40 minutes without checking air traffic in the area.
There's more. On Sunday, Israeli journalist Avi Sharf fired off a tweet with new
information about the downing of the IL-20 and wrote that the IAF struck its targets in
Latakia at 9:41 p.m. while the Syrians started to launch the S-200 missiles at 9:51 p.m.
Instead of moving to safety and prohibiting the launch of the S-200 missiles, the Russian
plane flew into the danger zone where it was downed at 10:03 p.m. according to Sharf.
The Russians now claim that Israel gave a warning only one minute before the attack in
Latakia. They also accused Israel of lying about the location of the imminent strike which
they said would take place in northern Syria and not in the west of the country.
However, both claims are untrue. The Israeli military warned the Russians via a special
hotline much earlier, before the strike, and Latakia is located in northwest Syria,
according to a senior IDF officer. "The message was passed on much more than a minute
before the attack, an amount of time that was acceptable, as has happened throughout all
the years the military coordination has operated," the officer reported.
An IDF delegation headed by Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin presented the
Russian military with all these details during a visit to Moscow last week. "The
comprehensive, accurate and factual details are known to the relevant professionals in the
Russian military, and they clearly state that: the deconfliction mechanism operated in the
relevant timeframe (as it has been operating over the last two and a half years); the IAF
did not hide behind any aircraft and that the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at
the time of the downing of the Russian plane," the IDF said in a statement after Norkin
debriefed the Russians.
"In addition, as we saw during this incident, the use of advanced weapons by irresponsible
entities significantly endangers the area and can severely harm forces operating in the
region," the statement explained. The IDF, furthermore, vowed that the safety of Russian
troops in Syria is "a focal component in every approval of any activity by senior
officials in the IDF and in Israel."
Israeli leaders across the political spectrum have now called upon the United States to
increase its involvement in Syria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu again called Putin to
convince him not to deliver the S-300 system to Assad's army.
The S-300 can track up to 100 targets simultaneously while it can engage with 12 at the
same time. The system has a range of roughly 200 kilometers and can reach targets flying
at an altitude up to 27,000 meters. The delivery of the system had already been considered
by the Russian government in April this year and would "create a no-go situation for
Israel if allowed to be made operational by the Syrian regime," according to weapons
expert Jennifer Dyer who spoke with Arutz Sheva at the time.
"Israel would lose the ability to preempt the `build-up' to war before Iran and Syria can
make it a full-blown war," Dyer furthermore warned while adding that delivery of the
system to Syria would endanger air traffic as far as the northern Negev desert.
The US government, meanwhile, responded to the Russian announcement about the delivery of
the S-300 missile shield by calling it a "significant escalation." Trump's National
Security adviser John Bolton said the Administration hopes that Putin will reconsider the
delivery of the system, but didn't announce measures to prevent the supply of the S-300.
Chances that Putin will indeed reconsider the delivery of the S-300 to Syria at this point
are slim, however.
The Russian leader has his agenda for Syria and the Middle East. He most likely will use
the opportunity to shore up his prestige and to bolster the regime of his ally Bashar
al-Assad which is heavily dependent on Russian and Iranian aid.
Netanyahu has now vowed that Israel "will continue to protect its security and
interests," but he will have difficulty to continue Israel's struggle against Iran in
Syria in the manner in which it has been conducted since it became obvious that the
Islamic Republic used the civil war in the country to take over the country and to open a
new front against Israel on the Golan Heights.
(Yochanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle
East correspondent for Western Journalism.com in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for
the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the
cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion.)
Iran Warns U.S. and Israel of Revenge After Deadly Parade Attack.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday accused the United States and
Israel of involvement in the attack which killed 25 people at a military parade and said
that Iran would "severely punish" those behind the bloodshed. The deputy head of Iran's
Revolutionary Guards also said that the attackers had been paid by Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, and that they should expect a devastating response.
In Washington, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis dismissed Iran's threat said it was
"ludicrous" for Tehran to allege US involvement in the attack. Asked whether Iran's threat
gave him any concern, Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon: "No, it does not. We've been
very clear that they shouldn't take us on like that. And I am hopeful that cooler, wiser
heads will prevail."
In the southwestern city of Ahvaz, thousands packed the streets to mourn the victims of
Saturday's assault, many chanting "Death to Israel and America." Twelve members of the
elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were among the dead. The coffins, wrapped in
flags, were carried by mourners. Many held pictures of a four-year-old boy killed in the
incident, one of the worst such attacks against Iran's most powerful military force.
Iran's Intelligence Ministry said some 22 people had been arrested in connection with the
attack. "Some 22 people involved in the attack in Ahvaz have been identified and arrested
... weapons, exclusive material and communication equipment were seized in the house that
belonged to the five-member terrorist group that carried out the attack," a ministry
statement said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
Gunmen fired on a viewing stand in Ahvaz where officials had gathered to watch an annual
parade marking the start of Iran's 1980-88 war with Iraq. Fars and IRNA news agencies said
on Monday five attackers were killed, not four as previously reported by state media. The
body of the fifth assailant had not been identified as it was mixed up with other
casualties, Fars said. "Based on reports, this cowardly act was done by people who the
Americans come to help when they are trapped in Syria and Iraq and are paid by Saudi
Arabia and the UAE," Khamenei said on his website.
Guards Brigadier General Hossein Salami, in a speech broadcast on state TV, said: "You
have seen our revenge before. You will see that our response will be crushing and
devastating and you will regret what you have done." Tasnim news agency quoted Salami as
saying the "horrific crime" exposed the dark side of an alliance that the United States,
Saudi Arabia and Israel had created to counter Iranian influence in the region.
The secretary of Iran's National Security Council said Tehran needed to talk to its
neighbors to avoid tensions. "It's essential to be fully aware and increase our
constructive dialogs to neutralize the plots of enemies who want to create suspicion and
disagreement among regional countries," Ali Shamkhani said, adding that US sanctions
against Iran were illegal and President Donald Trump was using them as a tool for
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asked by a Fox News interviewer if the United States
played any role in the attack, said: "When you have a security incident at home, blaming
others is an enormous mistake."
Fox Releases Clip of Gal Gadot on `The Simpsons'
Actress Gal Gadot will audition for the movie role of Bart Simpsons' sister Lisa in a cameo appearance on the first episode of "The Simpsons" 30th season. Fox released a preview of the episode ahead of its September 30 airing date. https://youtu.be/hHs6iIjb9Dc
In the episode, titled "Bart's Not Dead," Homer Simpson and his neighbor Ned Flanders hold
auditions for actors to portray the family after a group of Christian producers decide to
make a movie following Bart Simpson's claim that he went to heaven and met Jesus.
Once Gadot starts reading the script, Ned immediately offers her the part, but Homer is
not so sure. "I know you were great in `Fast and Furious,' but what else have you been
in?" he asks her after putting the brakes on Ned.
"Uh, did you see `Wonder Woman'?" says Gadot.
"Whenever I see the DC logo I immediately fall asleep," Homer answers.
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