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Introduction – May 10, 2018

Note that the following Israeli report says that Israel’s much vaunted Iron Dome air defence system only intercepted “some” incoming missiles. It doesn’t specify how many missiles were actually intercepted.
You can bet that if Iron Dome had successfully intercepted a substantial number of missiles the Israelis would be broadcasting its success to the world. That they are not suggests to this writer that Iron Dome’s performance in real combat was less than stellar.
According to Israel Iron Dome helped intercept four of the twenty missiles fired at Israel. That’s a successful kill ration of 20%, a pretty poor return for the hundreds of millions of dollars US taxpayers have paid to help fund the system’s development.
Israeli sustained zero casualties only because of its extensive system of air raid shelters. Not because of Iron Dome.
In contrast to Iron Dome’s dismal performance both Russia and Syria are claiming that Syria’s air defences intercepted as many as 70% of Israeli missiles. Much of this was accomplished with Cold War era military technology.
So despite the IDF’s confident claims you can sure that there are serious concerns in Tel Aviv tonight about Iron Dome’s performance. Ed.

IDF: Iranian forces fire 20 rockets at Israel; Iron Dome intercepts some

Judah Ari Gross – Times of Israel May 10, 2018

Some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces in southern Syria just after midnight on Thursday, with some of the incoming missiles being intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the army said, amid sky high tensions on the northern border.

There were no reports of Israeli casualties in the attack. An army spokesperson said damage was caused to Israeli military bases, but that it was “limited.”

Some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces in southern Syria just after midnight on Thursday, with some of the incoming missiles being intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the army said, amid sky high tensions on the northern border.

There were no reports of Israeli casualties in the attack. An army spokesperson said damage was caused to Israeli military bases, but that it was “limited.”

The Israeli army said the missile barrage was carried out by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Forces. This appeared to be the first time that Israel attributed an attack directly to Iran, which generally operates through proxies. The late night rocket barrage was also the largest attack, in terms of the number of rockets fired, in the seven years of the Syrian civil war.

Tehran has repeatedly vowed revenge after the T-4 army base in Syria was struck in an air raid — widely attributed to Israel — on April 9, killing at least seven members of the IRGC, including a senior officer responsible for the group’s drone program. (Iran used the T-4 base to launch an attack drone carrying explosives into Israel in February; the drone was shot down.)

Immediately following the Iranian attack at 12:10 a.m., Syrian state media reported that Israeli artillery fire targeted a military post near the city of Baath in the Quneitra border region, where Syrian regime forces were stationed.

Approximately an hour and a half later, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar news outlet reported that Syrian army air defenses were responding to an Israeli air strike against a target southwest of Damascus.

Syria’s state news agency said early Thursday that Syrian air defenses had intercepted “hostile Israeli missiles,” and Syrian media later said the missiles were fired over southwestern Damascus.

The pro-Syrian government Al-Mayadeen TV said more than 50 missiles had been fired from Syria toward Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson confirmed that the army had retaliated to the alleged Iranian attack, but would not comment on the specific details.

“The IDF sees this Iranian attack on Israel with severity,” said IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “This event is not over,” he said.

Sirens blared across the Golan Heights throughout the exchange, sending residents into bomb shelters. The IDF Home Front Command called on residents to listen to security instructions as needed.

The spokesperson said the army was still sorting out many of the specific details related to the attack, such as which army bases were targeted, what types of projectiles were used, how many rockets were fired, from where they were launched, and how many were intercepted.

It was unclear if the Quds Forces’ rocket barrage would be the extent of Iran’s reprisal. Israeli intelligence assessments ahead of the attack indicated that Tehran was not looking to escalate the situation into all-out war and was looking instead for a contained way to retaliate, which may also be why the bombardment targeted military and not civilian sites.

A video shared on social media shortly after midnight on Thursday appeared to show the barrage of missiles apparently being fired by a  multiple launch rocket systems, or MLRS, from Syria toward Israel.

Residents of both the Israeli and Syrian Golan Heights reported hearing loud, repeated explosions.

The attack came a day after the military called on local governments on the Golan Heights to open bomb shelters, in light of “abnormal” activities by Iranian forces in Syria. The barrage also followed US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday night that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

Continues …

The Syrian military released this video on Thursday showing what is believed to be Syrian air defences intercepting Israeli missiles. You can see one Israeli hit the ground and detonate but flashes in the sky are midair interceptions.
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