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About those Syrian casualties from the Israeli bombing

About those Syrian casualties from the Israeli bombing

The enormous mushroom cloud, the earth-shaking earthquake-like reverberations, the secondary explosions.

We’re heard a lot of noise from Syria, but relatively little about casualties.

The NY Times reports over 100 dead soldiers:

The attack, which sent brightly lighted columns of smoke and ash high into the night sky above the Syrian capital, struck several critical military facilities in some of the country’s most tightly secured and strategic areas, killing dozens of elite troops stationed near the presidential palace, a high-ranking Syrian military official said in an interview….

The airstrikes shocked residents of Damascus, a relative bubble of security, literally shaking some out of bed. It was a display of firepower far greater than any seen near the capital in two years of war.

At the military’s Tishreen Hospital on Monday, a doctor said that there were at least 100 dead soldiers and many dozens more wounded.

A similar assessment came from anti-Assad Syrian observers.

Israel’s weekend airstrike on a military complex near the Syrian capital of Damascus killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers, a group of anti-regime activists said Monday, citing information from military hospitals.

The Syrian government has not released a death toll, but Syrian state media have reported casualties in Sunday’s pre-dawn airstrike, Israel’s third into Syria this year.

It’s just strange we haven’t heard more about this.  No bodies paraded before cameras.  No weeping widows and children.

There’s really no incentive … yet … for Assad to play up the damage, as it would box him into having to take some futile gesture which would ensure his regime’s demise.

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Comments

stevewhitemd | May 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Pencilneck (aka, Assad) can’t do much about this.

1) his air force, never good, has been weakened substantially by the rebellion. A fair number of his military has gone over to the rebels, including AF maintenance. Arab militaries usually depend on “in-shallah” maintenance in good times; you don’t want to be an Arab fighter pilot literally praying your plane holds together.

2) that air force was on the short side of (about) an 81-0 score when they last met the IAF in the Lebanese war. Since then the Israelis have gotten better. The Syrian AF hasn’t.

3) Syrian anti-air defenses can’t handle the IAF, let alone anti-missile defense. Remember the Syrian nuke facility that suddenly went kaboom a few years back? Reportedly the IAF foxed the Syrian anti-air defense system with some nasty computer code that shut the whole system down. There is no reason to think the Syrians have recovered from that. They own an early generation Soviet Russian S-300 air defense system which won’t stop any advanced air force.

4) the Syrians could try a saturating missile launch to try and overwhelm the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ anti-missile defense system. That might work but it’ll be a one-time shot (literally); I would expect the Israelis then would flatten the Syrian military, and do so even if the Russians threaten to get involved. I don’t think the Israelis worry much about the Russians. I don’t think the Syrians have that kind of death wish, and it really would (as Prof. Jacobson indicates) demonstrate their impotence. That could lead quickly to regime change.

5) the Syrians could induce Hezbollah to help them with a saturating attack. While Hezbollah has rebuilt its force from its last encounter with the Israelis, the latter have learned a great deal about how to deal with the Hezbies. Expect them to demonstrate that if required. Nasrullah, the Hezbie leader, talks tough but clearly is afraid of his own shadow since he knows the Israelis will pot him if they learn where he is.

So the Israelis are relatively free to take out high-value targets in Syria, be it Syrian chemical weapons or advanced missiles being transshipped to southern Lebanon. Pencilneck can only threaten.

I was wondering why we hadn’t yet seen the seemingly omnipresent “blue helmet” guy carrying a child’s bloody corpse across rubble as we did back in Lebanon a few years ago. And why haven’t we seen the mysteriously well-placed banners (written in english) decrying the inhumanity of The Jew!.

TrooperJohnSmith | May 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm

That’s nothing for that part of the world. Imagine what Sodom and Gomorrah sounded like!

God bless the IDF!

Zanek!

From what’s being murmured around town, if Assad parades the dead bodies around, Iran would get angry for desecrating the Iranian Military.

Just another thought. Since Hezbollah has been stockpiling missiles around the border areas of Israel… and people have now seen what happens when a precisely aimed bomb DOES to a stockpile of missiles…

How many Lebanese and Syrian residents are feeling a little less comfortable with that extra room Hezbollah built onto their homes tonight? That was a heckofa boom.

stevewhitemd | May 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm

MrMichael, that’s pretty much what Israel has planned for southern Lebanon if the Hezbies do stage a major missile-launching assault. They’ve had plenty of time to figure what where the launchers are. To be fair to the Hezbies, they’ve been working equally hard to disguise the locations, but my bet is the Israelis are ahead on this one.

The Israelis can certainly use air-dropped bombs but my guess is they’ll use, for the most part, precision-guided missiles of their own — much quicker time to target when they know where the target is. Unlike Scuds and Fajrs, the Israeli’s missiles will be VERY precise. Of course, the Hezbies will have indeed concealed some launchers successfully, and the Israelis will have to take those out either with additional rounds of missiles, or bombs, or via ground assault once located. It will be a very tense time in northern Israel.

Juba Doobai! | May 7, 2013 at 2:58 am

Assad gulped, made a weak threat, and subsided.

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