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Iran’s stealth drone used against Israel #ThanksObama

Iran’s stealth drone used against Israel #ThanksObama

Knock-off of American drone brought down in Iran in December 2011, which Obama refused to destroy on the ground before the Iranians got to it.,7340,L-5105006,00.html

More details are emerging about the Iranian drone launched from central Syria that was brought down over Israeli territory, and the resulting Israeli attack on the Iranian base near Palmyra that launched and controlled the drone.

In that attack on the Iranian base, an Israeli F-16 was brought down, though the precise circumstances are not yet clear based on public information. Differing news accounts have the F-16 hit by shrapnel, or alternatively being ditched when the pilots realize a Russian-made surface-to-air missile (SAM) had locked on to the plane.

In retaliation for the downing of the plane, Israel launched a widespread attack reportedly destroying half of all Syria’s air defense systems. Once again, details are hard to come by and the Syrians/Iranians have been curiously quiet about it. Haaretz reports on the theory as to how the plane was brought down:

Syria was able to down the Israeli plane because it was flying too high. That, at least, is the initial assessment based on an Israel Air Force investigation of the incident.

The F-16 was one of eight of the same model that took part in an attack on an Iranian command trailer at the T4 base near the city of Palmyra, deep inside Syria. It was from that trailer that members of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched the drone that penetrated Israeli airspace on Saturday, and which was intercepted over the Beit She’an Valley. Israeli army sources said Israel had tracked the aircraft in the course of its entire flight from the Palmyra area, through northern Jordan until it crossed into Israel.

From the initial investigation it appears that at least one of the Israeli jets remained at high altitude, apparently to verify that the missiles that were fired at the Iranian trailer actually hit it. At that point, Syria’s aerial defense system fired an unusually large number of missiles, more than 20, of at least two types – long-range SA-5s and shorter-range SA-17s. The volley of missiles was clearly visible to Israelis in the north and even in the center of the country.

The lead Israeli plane managed to spot the missiles and dive to evade them. The crew that was hit did not do that – and when the Syrian missile was close to their plane, the pilot and navigator abandoned it, using their ejection seat….

Israel Air Force sources believe that a warning regarding the antiaircraft fire also reached the crew that abandoned their aircraft, but for a reason that is still not clear, the crew did not manage to take complete evasive action. It’s possible that the crew was too focused on its aerial bombardment and therefore reacted in a way that made the plane vulnerable to being hit.

The pilots reportedly say the plane was hit.

An Israeli General was quoted at Ynet News as follows:

The head of IAF Air Division, Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar said Sunday the IDF has carried out thousands of missions in Syria in the last year alone.

Speaking from the Tel Nof Airbase, Ein Dar also noted the IAF was learning from Saturday’s events, which began with the interception of an Iranian drone in Israeli territory followed by an IAF attack in Syria and the subsequent shooting down of an Israel F-16 plane.

Ein Dar said the IAF jets struck deep inside Syrian territory. During their mission, a large number of anti-aircraft missiles were directed at them and one hit its target, or near the target, forcing the pilots to bail….

“In this instance, our aircraft was hit; we are of course unsatisfied and we will study the incident and learn for the future,” he told Ynet in an interview.

In his view, the strike against Syrian air defenses was a very significant event: “There has not been such a strike since 1982; it was very broad and it will have an effect on their decision-making process. I assume that they will continue to attempt to defend themselves, but they were hit very seriously and the indications of that are only beginning to come to light this morning, despite their attempts to conceal it.”

One of the questions has been whether this was an Iranian ambush, in which the Israeli attack deliberately was provoked for a waiting barrage of 25 or more SAM missiles fired at different altitudes. The Israeli General doesn’t think so, noting the Iranians might have thought the drone could pass over Israel undetected because it was a knock-off of an American stealth drone.

The IDF’s working assumption, Ein Dar explained, is that this was not a planned Iranian ambush intended to drag Israel into an operational blunder. Rather, the belief is that the Iranians assumed that they could succeed in sending the drone without the IDF defenses noticing and they were mistaken….

According to Ein Dar, “The drone was of top quality technology, it was a copy of an American drone that fell into their hands.” He added: “The Iranians are operating in Syria and we therefore hit them in addition to intercepting the drone; and we will continue to do so wherever we find them.”

And, indeed, based on photos of the downed drone, it seems to have been an imitation of an American stealth drone that was felled over Iran in 2011. Aviationist Magazine noted that the drone is based on the American RQ-170 model, which is manufactured by Lockheed Martin and was nicknamed the Beast of Kandahar for its intelligence gathering over the Afghan city.

The reference to American technology falling into Iranian hands refers to December 2011, when an American stealth drone operating from Afghanistan crashed in Iran. Rather than bomb the downed drone so the Iranians couldn’t get the cutting edge design and technology, the Obama administration did nothing.

We covered the story at the time, Iran displays downed drone (quote via BBC):

Iranian TV has shown the first video footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it downed near the
Afghan border.

Images show Iranian military officials inspecting the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which appears to be undamaged.

US officials have acknowledged the loss of the unmanned plane, saying it had malfunctioned.

However, Iranian officials say its forces electronically hijacked the drone and steered it to the ground.

Obama rejected plans to launch a covert operation to take back or at least destroy the drone and all its sensitive military technologies for fear it would spark a larger confrontation.

Multiple additional reports cite the Iranian drone as being a knock-off:

Footage of the Iranian UAV that was shot down in Israeli airspace Saturxday shows it heavily resembles a US stealth drone that was downed in Iran in 2011.

After being captured in Iran, the United States asked for it back, but was refused.

US magazine The Aviationist reported the drone was a model the Revolutionary Guards presented two years ago, built on the basis of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel aerial reconnaissance UAV.

The model is called the “Beast of Kandahar” due to its activities in Afghanistan.

NBC News has confirmed that the Iranian drone was based on the American drone captured in 2011:

An Iranian engineer claimed the guidance software was hacked:

Iran guided the CIA’s “lost” stealth drone to an intact landing inside hostile territory by exploiting a navigational weakness long-known to the US military, according to an Iranian engineer now working on the captured drone’s systems inside Iran.

Iranian electronic warfare specialists were able to cut off communications links of the American bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel, says the engineer, who works for one of many Iranian military and civilian teams currently trying to unravel the drone’s stealth and intelligence secrets, and who could not be named for his safety.

Using knowledge gleaned from previous downed American drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfigured the drone’s GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan.

Despite Iranian claims, it remains a mystery how the Iranians brought down the American stealth drone, if indeed it wasn’t just an accident, Who Tracked, Hacked-N-Jacked, the Beast of Kandahar?.

What is not a mystery is that Obama had a chance to destroy this technology on the ground after it was brought down in Iran. Instead, he let the Iranians have it, and now it’s being used against Israel, and sooner or later, will be used against American troops.


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buckeyeminuteman | February 11, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Typical Obama thing to do. Last year when the American sailors out in the Gulf “accidentally” strayed into Iranian waters, this was the same sort of thing happening. Iran tricked the small boat’s guidance system into reporting they were in international waters when in fact they had crossed into Iranian territory.

So, the Israelis tracked the “stealth” drone from the moment it took off. Something funny happening here. Was the drone captured by the Iranians in 2011 modified to be vulnerable and deliberately put in their hands? Have the Israelis made a significant advance in radar technology? Half the Syrian air defenses destroyed? I’m going to wear out the ? key if I don’t stop here.

    Sendarius in reply to roylofquist. | February 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    I am guessing that the Iranian version wasn’t all that close a copy.

    This brings to mind the Israeli plan to steal the plans for the Mirage III.

    Apparently having the jets available to copy wasn’t enough, they needed the plans and production process information in order to make viable, useful spare parts for the planes that they already had.

    The technology of aircraft has only increased in the decades since then – stealth, electronics, metallurgy all getting harder to reverse engineer when based on a single example, even an intact one.

    Some IDF statements make it sound as though the drone was visually observed as it took off from its base in Syria. This is a knock-off of the RQ-170 which was obtained by the Iranians in 2011. The RQ-170 is a low observable UAV. It has a small radar signature, but can be spotted if you know where to look and especially if you are using look-down radar capabilities, such as AWACS.

    In this case, the Israelis had time to scramble a squadron of Apache helicopters to intercept the drone right after it entered Israeli airspace, after traversing part of Syria and Northern Lebanon.

    A followup attack, after the initial Israeli attack following the drone downing, targeted Syrian S-200 anti-aircraft batteries. while this may provide a short term advantage to Israel, Syria just bought a large number of S-300 anti-aircraft batteries which are more capable that the S-200.

“What is not a mystery is that Obama had a chance to destroy this technology on the ground after it was brought down in Iran. Instead, he let the Iranians have it, and now it’s being used against Israel, and sooner or later, will be used against American troops”

Exactly as planned. It ultimately doesn’t matter whether or not somebody who is reported to have said “the muslim call to prayer is the most beautiful sound in the world” in fact consciously works to advance Islam, since it still has the effect of doing exactly that.

It’s amazing Professor Jacobson how you have such love for a nation that attacked a US Navy vessel.

It’s amazing Professor Jacobson how you have such love for a nation that repeatedly spied on the US.

    Colonel Travis in reply to m1. | February 11, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    USS Liberty was 50 years ago, it’s debatable whether they knew it was an American ship. Based on your, ah, logic maybe we should treat Japan like North Korea.

    Everyone spies on everyone else. Get over it.

    Israel is the only decent country in the Middle East, one of our best allies, period.

    Peddle your anti-Semitism elsewhere.

      It’s not debatable. The recording of the pilots’ conversation with their controllers was released about 20 years ago, and it proves beyond all doubt that they thought it was an Egyptian ship, and as soon as they realized their mistake they called off the attack. Liberty wasn’t supposed to be there.

      tom_swift in reply to Colonel Travis. | February 12, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Peddle your anti-Semitism elsewhere.

      Criticism of Israeli actions or policies—even imaginary ones—is generally not itself “anti-Semitism”, any more than criticism of Obama, Jackson-Lee, Harris, Holder, Lewis, etc. is ipso facto “racism”.

    alaskabob in reply to m1. | February 11, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Liberty is a sore spot for sure, but do I have to regurgitate how the US screwed over Israel under Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama? And we don’t spy on Israel or divulge Israeli secrets to Muslim radicals?

    Milhouse in reply to m1. | February 12, 2018 at 12:50 am

    The Liberty attack was the US’s fault for letting its ship wander around in a war zone without telling both combatants that it was there. The Israelis thought it was Egyptian, and if the Egyptians had an air force left they’d probably have thought it was Israeli.

      No, the attack on the Liberty was the fault of the Israelis. While the USS Liberty was an electronic surveillance vessel, she was clearly operating in international waters and was attacked without warning, in 1967 during the Six-day War. If the Israeli account is believed, Israel failed to clearly identify the target of the attack. So, Israel totally owns the results of her actions, not the US.

      Now, for the controversy. The Israelis attacked the Liberty using unmarked aircraft. There have been several corroborated reports that the ship was identified as an American ship before the attack, that this identification was relayed to the Israeli commanders and that the planes were ordered to continue the attack anyway. Later, the Israelis said that the Liberty was mistaken for the El Quseir, even though the El Quseir is only 1/4 of the Liberty’s tonnage and only 1/2 its length with a markedly different silhouette. If this is all true, then this attack was no “accident”, on the part of Israel.

        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 12, 2018 at 4:22 pm

        It was totally the US’s fault. So what if it was in international waters? It was in a ****ing war zone, and not where it was supposed to be, so it was up to the US to notify the combatants so they would know it didn’t belong to the other side.

        There’s no “If the Israeli account is believed”. The recording has been released. There is no possible doubt that neither the control tower nor the pilots knew it was a US ship, and the moment they realized it was one the attack stopped. In the middle of battle, one can’t expect exact observation of the ship’s tonnage or whatever; there’s a ship where no ship is supposed to be, you assume it’s the enemy and attack it.

          Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2018 at 6:32 pm

          Sorry, but simply being in a :war zone” does not mean that belligerents are free to indiscriminately attack any target they they wish. So, the responsibility for any damage lies with the Israelis, hence why they paid $13 million dollars to the US.

          As to the “tape”, there have been numerous reports that the Israeli command was notified of the identification of the Liberty as being American and that the pilots were ordered to continue the attack. One refused and was arrested and court marshaled. These same communications were monitored and recorded by the US Embassy in Cyprus and have been attested to by numerous US and Israeli sources of the time. There was a political decision made, in the US, to accept the “accident” explanation and the money.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2018 at 9:57 pm

          Belligerents are entitled to attack any vessel in the area they believe to belong to the enemy. That’s how war works. Neutrals in the area should take care to make sure the belligerents know who they are.

          As to the “tape”, there have been numerous reports that the Israeli command was notified of the identification of the Liberty as being American and that the pilots were ordered to continue the attack. One refused and was arrested and court marshaled

          What “reports”? There was no such pilot. Again, the recording exists, and shows clearly that they did not know. Anyone who continues to insist otherwise is therefore a deliberate liar, and one must wonder about his motives.

    Milhouse in reply to m1. | February 12, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Oh, and the US spies on Israel all the time, so why shouldn’t Israel do the same? The normal thing to do when you catch your allies’ spies is to send them home, not lock them up for decades.

      CalFed in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2018 at 2:03 am

      “The normal thing to do when you catch your allies’ spies is to send them home, not lock them up for decades.”

      If you are referring to Jonathan Pollard, then this is disingenuous. Pollard wasn’t an Israeli who got caught and should have been “sent home”–he was an American who betrayed his country for money. He was “sent home”–to a maximum security Federal prison.

        Milhouse in reply to CalFed. | February 12, 2018 at 10:01 pm

        Yes, I’m referring to Pollard, and once Israel admitted he was theirs he should have been exchanged for the next US spy the Israelis caught.

        As for his motives, he’d been ordered to hide from Israel information about Iraqi chemical weapons that it was entitled to receive, on the grounds that “Jews are too sensitive about poison gas”.

          CalFed in reply to Milhouse. | February 14, 2018 at 11:45 am

          This is preposterous. No country turns the traitors that it catches over to the foreign power that the traitor is working for. That is simply silly.

          By that measure, Aldrich Ames (CIA traitor) and Robert Hanson (FBI traitor) should have been turned over to Russia. Thankfully, things like that don’t happen.

          Pollard got the same treatment that every other US citizen gets when caught spying for a foreign power…a long prison sentence.

          Furthermore, you are whitewashing Pollards crimes. Pollard shopped classified documents to other countries before giving them to Israel. He also gave classified documents related to China to his wife, so that she could advance her personal business interests.

    rdm in reply to m1. | February 12, 2018 at 5:50 am

    So at best you are ignorant here, at worst you lie – which is it?

The Israeli pilots ejected when locked on was detected? They really do not have counter measures for locked on missiles? Any experts in the crowd to respond?

    Olinser in reply to villiewe. | February 11, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    F-16s are 40 years old (first produced in 1973) and the purpose of most countermeasures is to prevent a lock on in the first place.

      villiewe in reply to Olinser. | February 11, 2018 at 11:47 pm

      Help the uneducated like me.

      Does the F16 HUD show whether it is radar or thermal lock on? If thermal, can that by thwarted by temporary engine shutdown. If radar, why does not jamming at radar frequency not work?

      Ignore the thumbs down- I hit it by accident when intending to reply.

    alaskabob in reply to villiewe. | February 11, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    The pilots were reported significantly injured which doesn’t jive with a lock on and early eject scenario.

      CalFed in reply to alaskabob. | February 12, 2018 at 2:09 am

      Ejecting from a fighter traveling at high speed can be a risky proposition. While it is true that the risk may well be worth taking considering the alternative, significant injuries from such ejections are not rare

      That scene in Top Gun where Goose was killed on ejecting? Not a “movie scenario”.

    Colonel Travis in reply to villiewe. | February 12, 2018 at 12:13 am

    “In transcripts leaked to Hadashot news Sunday, the airmen say they had mere seconds to eject from the plane after a missile exploded alongside them.”

      That’s far more likely than ejecting out of a perfectly good airplane just because there’s a missile headed toward it. After all, if it missed, you’d be explaining to the Commanding Officer “Yes, my aircraft flew three hundred miles into another country after I ejected, but I thought…”

    More than likely, the pilots ejected after the airplane was damaged. There is no “missile lock-on” with the S-200 [SA-5] missile, per say. It uses a semi-active radar guidance system which locks on to ground based radar signals reflected off an aircraft. These signals can be detected by the aircraft, but, in an environment where targeting radar is being used, being painted does not mean that a missile is locked on to your aircraft. SOP in such a situation is usually to change course regularly and deploy chaff. If you hold a straight line too long; BOOM. The usual warhead on the SA-5 is usually ball bearings packed around a bursting charge. The missile rarely actually strikes the airplane.

Like a case of the clap, Barack Obama is a gift that keeps on giving.

Worst President Ever.

Well, give credit where it’s due—Obama may turn out to be the best president Iran’s ever had.

Bombing requires sending a piloted plane over enemy territory. The drone should have had a self destruct option.

The UAV should have had a self destruct option.

After all he, the former pResident is one of them a Marxist muslim

    Milhouse in reply to jmccandles. | February 12, 2018 at 10:48 am

    There’s no such thing as a Marxist Moslem. A Marxist cannot be a Moslem and a Moslem cannot be a Marxist. There is no reason to suppose 0bama is a Moslem, and it’s hard to see how he could have become one. 0bama was raised, not by Moslems, but by dedicated Marxists; I doubt he is himself one any more, but the underlying attitudes stuck, especially the hostility to the USA. There’s no question that he hates the US, or at least the vision of the US that most of us hold dear. (He would say he loves *his* vision of the US and that’s why he dedicated himself to correcting it and putting it in its proper place, subservient to the rest of the world.)

      This is not quite accurate.

      while it is true that Obama spent part of his childhood and much of his adult life surrounded by anti-American Marxists, he spent several years living in Indonesia, where he attended Muslim school. To do that, he would have to be Muslim. Then he was affiliated with Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam. There is a good chance that he does support Islam and may still consider himself a Muslim.

      There is no doubt that he is a staunch anti-American and has worked diligently to destroy this nation.

        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 12, 2018 at 4:28 pm

        He did not attend a Moslem school. He attended first a Catholic school, and then a secular school, both of which accepted students of all religions. Nor has he ever been affiliated with Farrakhan or NOI. The New Party, yes; he tried to cover it up, but there is solid evidence that he was a New Party member, and actively sought its endorsement. That fits with his Marxist background, whether or not he was an actual doctrinal Marxist at the time.

          Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm

          Barry Soetoro attended two established schools in Indonesia. The first was Fransiskus Assisi, which was a catholic school School records list him as being an Indonesian citizen and as a Muslim. He later attended the Basuki school. The Basuki school was largely a secular school which had classes on both Christianity and Islam. It was Muslim in the sense that most of the students attending were of that faith. We have no idea which religion classes Barry chose to attend there, but these classes were mandatory. There is no record of Barry ever attending a madrassa or other facility that taught radical Islamic beliefs. However, it is also unlikely that he did not attend the local masque with his father Lolo Soetoro. He would have had to do so to fit into the society in Jakarta, even if he and his step-father did so irregularly. And, as with most religions, some training in the practices aof Islam would have been conveyed to him there.He also had close political ties to the Islamic Brotherhood in Chicago.

          While none of this means that Barry Soetoro was strongly tied to Islam, it suggests that he did have a decades long affiliation with the religion and with various groups which were affiliated with this religion. In all likelihood, Barry was not especially religious in any way. It is much more likely that, at least in his later years, he was not religious at all. It is very evident that he was closely tied to anti-American Marxists, however.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2018 at 10:14 pm

          The Basuki school was largely a secular school which had classes on both Christianity and Islam. It was Muslim in the sense that most of the students attending were of that faith.

          In other words, not a Moslem school in any sense whatsoever. Unless you want to claim that many public schools in the US are actually Catholic schools. Admit it, your claim that he attended a Moslem school was false.

          He did go to mosque when his step-father bothered going. So what? Going to church once in a while, especially as a kid tagging along with a parent, hardly makes someone a Christian, especially since his entire sojourn in Indonesia was less than four years.

          What ties do you allege he had to the “Islamic Brotherhood” in Chicago, whatever that might be?

          And yes, he clearly did have close ties to Marxists, whether or not he himself was one, which makes sense since that’s the religion he was really brought up in.

One first imagines that this is just part of the way the world of war industry works, but then one reflects a little more after reading the Israeli press on the same matter. It is much deaper than just the war business. One see just how deeply the antisemite feelings have pervaded the highest echelons. Even Obama is now a proven one, and the suspicion must hang over Michelle as well. One can barely ask who next? Is it all of them?

Is criticism of Israel antisemitism? When the conduct of Israel is treated differently than other nations, when Israel is criticised in a different manner than other nations, when criticism is more frequent, and when different standards are used, yes, criticism is actuated by antisemitism. The issue is not criticism of Israel, it is when only Israel is the subject of criticism.

The same folks who criticise Israel and who build conspiracy theories based upon the Liberty Incident decline to criticise Iran, laud the smiling sister of the North Korean leader, ignore Turkey’s actions vs the Kurds, don’t care about the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt, ignore the genocide vs Christians in the Near and Middle East, etc., etc. What actuates the “concerns” of such persons regarding Israel is not very hard to determine.