Friday, September 6, 2013

Dayr az-Zawr, Obama and WMD

In light of the continuing "fall out" from the abject failure of President Obama administrations "Foreign Affairs"dealings, more specifically the "Iran Deal".  Several people from both sides of the political isle have leveled accusations at one another concerning the Bush administrations haste in invading Iraq because of Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. Those who back President Obama claim that there were none to begin with in Iraq. I will not argue I will simply state facts.

Did Saddam Hussein and Iraq have a nuclear bomb? 
  • August 17, 1959 USSR and Iraq wrote an agreement about building a nuclear power plant and established a nuclear program as part of their mutual understanding. 
  • In 1968 a Soviet supplied IRT-2000 research reactor together with a number of other facilities that could be used for radioisotope production was built close to Baghdad
  • In 1975 Saddam Hussein arrived in Moscow and asked about building an advanced model of an atomic power station. Moscow informed Saddam that it would approve the station only if it was regulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iraq refused. Even though Iraq refused an agreement of co-operation was signed, which superseded the one from 1959. 
  • In 1976 Paris agreed to sell 72 kg of 93% Uranium and built a nuclear power plant without International Atomic Energy Agency control at a price of $3 billion.
  • In 1980 the United States Commerce department approved $500 million worth of dual use exports to support Iraq during the Iran– Among them were advanced computers, some of which were used in Iraq's nuclear program. 
  • Operation Opera, also known as Operation Babylon, was a surprise Israeli air strike carried out on 7 June 1981 against Iraq's unfinished Osiraq nuclear reactor some 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. The facility was destroyed, killing ten Iraqi soldiers and one French researcher.
  • In March 1990, a case of nuclear triggers bound for Iraq, were seized at Heathrow Airport in to what was called  the Arms-to-Iraq affair.

Did Saddam Hussein and Iraq have chemical Weapons?

  • In 1980 the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency filed a report stating that Iraq had been actively acquiring chemical weapons capacities for several years.
  • The non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples of anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism to Iraq up until 1989, which Iraq claimed it needed for "medical research". A number of these materials were used for Iraq's biological weapons research program.
  • In 1984 the CIA secretly started providing intelligence to the Iraqi army during the Iran-Iraq War. This included information to target chemical weapons strikes. The same year it was confirmed beyond doubt by European doctors and UN expert missions that Iraq was employing chemical weapons against the Iranians.
  • On March 23, 1988 Iraq had launched a large scale chemical assault on Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan 7,000 people had been killed and 20,000 wounded.
  • Between 1991 and 1998, UN inspectors conducted more than 70 inspections into Iraq's biological warfare activities. In its 1999 final report to the U.N. Security Council, UNSCOM noted that Iraq's biological warfare program was "among the most secretive of its programs of weapons of mass destruction." It said that Iraq "took active steps" to conceal the program, including "inadequate disclosures, unilateral destruction, and concealment activities." Therefore, the Commission concluded, "it has not been possible to verify" Iraq's statements about the extent and nature of its biological weapons program.

I had written the following information on October 27, 2007 - in a Blog  “How to destroy a hard site” in the aftermath of the resounding silence from Syria after the devastating attack on September 6th, 2007 by Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16s conducted on targets deep inside Syria near the city of Dayr az-Zawr. This facility and it’s surrounding underground storage facilities was constructed for the storage of Iraq's WMD chemical/bio weapons for safekeeping in Syria prior to the US invasion of April 2003.

 The site described by the experts is a bunker built into the side of the wadi/valley at 25 42'24 74 N 39 49'57 92E is atypical of a hardened bunker for weapons storage it is not only a Nuclear site.

Now here are two satellite images. These are two existing Nuclear facilities are based on North Korean plans. Compare them with the site found at 35 11'57 91N 40 05'01 24E. 

The outstanding question in the after math of the attack was; "Why would the Syrian government be so tight-lipped about an act of war perpetrated on their soil?"

The first half of the answer lay in a story that appeared in the Israeli media on the 13th of August 2007 concerning “Syria's Antiaircraft System Most Advanced in World”.  Syria had gone on a profligate buying spree, spending vast sums on Russian systems, "considered the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology." And as the story continued; Syria now "possesses the most crowded antiaircraft system in the world," with "more than 200 antiaircraft batteries of different types," some of which are so new that they have been installed in Syria "before being introduced into Russian operation service."

Now take a look at a map of Syria:
Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel.  An F15/16 attack there was no tiptoe across the border, but a deep and very long penetration into Syrian airspace.  And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when the Israeli aircraft penetrated so deep into Syrian airspace? Nothing, nothing at all but total resounding Silence. The "elite" Russian made systems didn't even light up nor gave any indication whatsoever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace. The Israelis had blinded the Russian antiaircraft detection systems so completely the Syrians didn't even know they were blinded this in itself was an an incredible success.

After the attack retired military officials indicated that a technology like the U.S.-developed “Suter” airborne network attack system developed by BAE Systems and integrated into U.S. Unmanned aircraft by L-3 Communications was used by the Israelis. The system has been used or at least tested operationally in Iraq and Afghanistan. The technology allows users to invade communications networks, see what enemy sensors see and even take over as systems administrator so sensors can be manipulated into positions so that approaching aircraft can’t be seen, they say. The process involves locating enemy emitters with great precision and then directing data streams into them that can include false targets and misleading messages algorithms that allow a number of activities including control.

A Kuwaiti newspaper wrote that "Russian experts were studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets entering Syrian territory. Iran reportedly has asked the same question, since it is buying the same systems and might have paid for the Syrian acquisitions."

The system in question is thought to be the new Tor-M1 launchers which carry eight missiles as well as two of the Pachora-2A system. Iran bought 29 of the Tor launchers from Russia for $750 million to guard its nuclear sites, and they were delivered in Jan., according to Agency France-Press and ITAR-TASS. Syrian press reports they were tested in February 2007. They also are expected to form a formidable system when used with the longer-range S-300/SA-10 which Iran has been trying to buy from RussiaSyria has operated SA-6s for years and more recently has been negotiating with Russians for the Tor-M1. What systems were actually guarding the Syrian site are not known.

The conclusion of this story was that the highly successful Israeli Airforce operation left not only the Syrians and Russians speechless but it scared the "Beegesus" out of the Iranians. They thought they were protected - at an enormous expense - only to discover they are defenseless. All of this caused Tehran to panic. 

How was the attack done and what were the implications to Iran?

The GBU-28 or the BLU-113 Conventional Bunker Busters

They are 19 feet (5.8 meters) long, 14.5 inches (36.8 cm) in diameter and weighs 4,400 pounds (1,996 kg).

The U.S. Military has developed several different weapons to attack these underground fortresses. Known as bunker busters, these bombs penetrate deep into the earth or right through a dozen feet of reinforced concrete before exploding. These bombs have made it possible to reach and destroy facilities that would have been impossible to attack otherwise

During the 1991 Gulf war, allied forces knew of several underground military bunkers in Iraq that were so well reinforced and so deeply buried that they were out of reach of existing munitions. The U.S. Air Force started an intense research and development process to create a new bunker-busting bomb to reach and destroy these bunkers. In just a few weeks, a prototype was created. This new bomb had the following features:
Its casing consists of an approximately 16-foot (5-meter) section of artillery barrel that is 14.5 inches (37 cm) in diameter. Artillery barrels are made of extremely strong hardened steel so that they can withstand the repeated blasts of artillery shells when they are fired.
Inside this steel casing is nearly 650 pounds (295 kg) of tritonal explosive. Tritonal is a mixture of TNT (80 percent) and aluminum powder (20 percent). The aluminum improves the brisance of the TNT -- the speed at which the explosive develops its maximum pressure. The addition of aluminum makes tritonal about 18 percent more powerful than TNT alone.
Attached to the front of the barrel is a laser-guidance assembly. Either a spotter on the ground or in the bomber illuminates the target with a laser, and the bomb homes in on the illuminated spot. The guidance assembly steers the bomb with fins that are part of the assembly.

Attached to the end of the barrel are stationary fins that provide stability during flight.

Busting a Bunker

From the description in the previous section, you can see that the concept behind bunker-busting bombs like the GBU-28 is nothing but basic physics. You have:
An extremely strong tube that is:
  • Very narrow for its weight
  • Extremely heavy
The bomb is dropped from an airplane so that this tube develops a great deal of speed, and therefore kinetic energy, as it falls. When the bomb hits the earth, it is like a massive nail shot from a nail gun. In tests, the GBU-28 has penetrated 100 feet (30.5 meters) of earth or 20 feet (6 meters) of concrete.

In a typical mission, intelligence sources or aerial/satellite images reveal the location of the bunker. A GBU-28 is loaded into a B2 Stealth bomber, an F-111 or similar aircraft. The bomber flies near the target, the target is illuminated and the bomb is dropped.

The GBU-28 has in the past been fitted with a delay fuse (FMU-143) so that it explodes after penetration rather than on impact. There has also been a good bit of research into smart fuses that, using a microprocessor and an accelerometer, can actually detect what is happening during penetration and explode at precisely the right time. These fuses are known as hard target smart fuses (HTSF). The GBU-27/GBU-24 (aka BLU-109) is nearly identical to the GBU-28, except that it weighs only 2,000 pounds (900 kg). It is less expensive to manufacture, and a bomber can carry more of them on each mission. 

Now that you have read my Blog entry watch this YouTube presentation that was released recently

Operation Orchard (Hebrew: מבצע בוסתן‎, Mivtza bustan) was an Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria, which occurred just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007. The Israeli and U.S. governments imposed virtually total news blackouts immediately after the raid that held for seven months. The White House and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) subsequently confirmed that American intelligence had also indicated the site was a nuclear facility with a military purpose, though Syria denies this. A 2009 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation reported evidence of uranium and graphite and concluded that the site bore features resembling an undeclared nuclear reactor. IAEA was initially unable to confirm or deny the nature of the site because, according to IAEA, Syria failed to provide necessary cooperation with the IAEA investigation. Syria has disputed these claims. Nearly five years later, in April 2011, the IAEA officially confirmed that the site was a nuclear reactor.

Mossad (Hebrew: הַמוֹסָד‎, IPA: [ha moˈsad]; Arabic: الموساد‎, al-Mōsād; literally meaning "the Institute"), short for HaMossad leModiʿin uleTafkidim Meyuḥadim (Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים‎, meaning "Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations"; Arabic: الموساد للاستخبارات والمهام الخاصة‎ al-Mōsād lil-Istikhbārāt wal-Mahāmm al-Khāṣṣah), is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security).

One report stated that a team of elite Israeli "Shaldag" special-forces commandos arrived at the site the day before so that they could highlight the target with laser designators, while a later report identified Sayeret Matkal special-forces commandos as involved.

Sayeret Matkal (Hebrew: סיירת מטכ"ל‎, General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) is a special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). First and foremost a field intelligence-gathering unit, conducting deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines to obtain strategic intelligence, Sayeret Matkal is also tasked with counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond Israel's borders. The unit is modeled after the British Army's Special Air Service, taking the unit's motto "Who Dares Wins". It is directly subordinate to the IDF's Directorate of Military Intelligence.

The continuation of the Operation Orchard video.

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