Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Scuds are "odd choice" for Hezbollah

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Reuters/ here

"Hezbollah need to float like butterflies, sting like bees. They don't need something that lumbers along like an ox," British defense analyst Charles Heyman said.
For now, U.S. officials say they believe Syria intended to transfer the missiles -- which Damascus denies -- but that they have no indications that any Scuds have been moved to Lebanon.......

"From a military perspective, you question why Hezbollah would have a Scud ... but it is amazingly evocative as a name, so in political, psychological terms, it's an important escalation -- if true," said British defense expert Paul Beaver.....

One Israeli official said Hezbollah had received only the missiles to place in "improvised silos," not the launcher and tow truck. It was not immediately clear how the guerrillas could launch the missile without its companion equipment....

Uzi Rubin, a founder of Israel's Arrow anti-missile programme and now a private consultant to the Defense Ministry, voiced surprise at reports of Scuds reaching Hezbollah. "This is a nonsense move. What do they need Scuds for?" he asked.

"They already have the (Iranian-made) Fateh-110, which has a similar range and, being a solid-fuel rocket, is far less cumbersome. Okay, so Scuds weigh a tone while the Fateh-110 is half a metric tone. Nothing to stop them firing two Fateh-110s."

......"It's hard to hide a Scud. It requires an erector launcher, refueling trucks, a panoply of equipment." Heyman said Scuds would be easy meat for Israel's military. "Within three or four minutes of a launch, the whole area would be an inferno of high explosives from counter-battery fire."

Israeli warplanes fly daily into Lebanese airspace, although the border has been mostly quiet since the 2006 war, with U.N. and Lebanese army troops patrolling an enclave where Hezbollah has no visible armed presence. Israel complains the peacekeepers do too little to prevent the Shi'ite guerrillas from rearming.

Syria has said Israel's "fabrications" about Scud deliveries were intended to "raise tension further in the region and to create an atmosphere for probably Israeli aggression."

Even if Scud deliveries were verified, Israel might make no pre-emptive move, unless Syria took the risky step of also supplying Hezbollah with chemical or even biological warheads.

A former Israeli general, who asked not to be named, said only hard, public evidence would warrant an Israeli attack. "It would take, for example, a declaration by Hezbollah that this (a non-conventional Scud warhead) is part of its arsenal," he said. (laughing VERY hard!)

Posted by G, Z, or B at 4:59 PM
River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

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