Israel Warns of Syrian Buildup

[Jerusalem Post] Yaakov Katz - Senior defense officials have warned of an unprecedented military buildup in Syria. Following the Second Lebanon War, IDF Military Intelligence noticed a change within the Syrian military. Syria feels empowered by Hizbullah's surprising success last summer and Damascus now believes it can use Hizbullah-like tactics in a future confrontation with Israel and possibly even defeat the IDF. Syria has the ability to independently manufacture Scud missiles, and has 300 deployed in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights. Syrian missiles include a number of Scud D's with a range of 700 kilometers and said to be capable of carrying nonconventional warheads. According to Yiftah Shapir - a researcher with the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University - the Syrian military also plans to use short-range Katyushas in any future conflict with Israel. The heart of Syria's missile program is in Hama, where a weapons factory is surrounded by more than 30 hardened concrete bunkers that house multiple launchers and missiles. In just minutes, experts said, these launchers could deliver more than a ton of nonconventional warheads anywhere in Israel. Another missile site near Homs contains a chemical warhead facility where a drive-through building leads to a facility where warheads are installed on ballistic missiles.

2007-04-13 01:00:00

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