Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hamas Weaponry

As the likelihood of IDF ground forces moving into Gaza increases this look at the weapons that IDF soldiers will be facing is timely. A snippet:

Fajr-3 variant Katyushas (Iranian)
Unknown numbers
Range: ~45km
Being reported tonight as if it's new development. Actually, about a year or so. Like other weapons and Hizballah-like tactics, this development coincides with being well inside the Iranian orbit - which is to say, largely since Hamas took Gaza by force in '07.

SA-7 (Russian design, Iranian manufacture, training) Sapper
Anti-aircraft, shoulder-fired (MANPAD)
Impact: Can't take out IAF jets, but are assault helo killers.
This is a big, big deal.
Note: We had a rash of SA-7 shots being taken and downing our choppers in one corridor in Iraq (Sea Stallions, CH-46's [both carrying troops], Appache/cobras) - and Britain lost a Lynx helo to one in Basra. We started whacking Iranians shortly after and the SA-7 supply stopped. As an old anti-aircraft Marine, I noted to Pentagon sophisticated tactics being employed by terrorist crews (Thanks to their penchant for publishing propaganda videos of their snuffs), suggesting advanced training in/by Iran. Not a simple weapon. Got a quiet nod in response. FYI.
Note II: In all the news video of the Israeli raids, you don't see Israeli attack helicopters hovering over Gaza City this time, do you? Well...

AT-14 Kornet anti-tank missiles
Dozens, and that public estamation was about a year & a half ago, so...
Range: ~5.5 km
Impact: Kornet penetrates both Merkava (IDF) and M-1 Abrams armor and, like the anti-aircraft missiles, is a big deal, even bigger actually.
Note: This is what was killing most IDF soldiers in '06 summer war w/Hizballah in Lebanon. It is what primarily gives Israel hesitation to go into Gaza with ground incursion. Period. One israeli general said in '06 or '07 that this weapon in Hamas' hands constitutes a "shift in the strategic balance." The Merkava has always been the IDF's invincible beast, and getting them whacked damages the israeli public psyche (IMHO) even more than the forces wading into battle.
Note II: Like the SA-7, we experienced several Kornet hits which killed our M-1 Abrams tanks in Iraq. Unclear whether a Russian supply (via Iran) for Russian military's live-fire proving ground or whether just another Iranian feed into Iraq. Either way, note with distinction here the Iranian parallel, as elsewhere on this list.
In addition to a breakdown of Hamas weaponry (and where it comes from) is a brief look at tactics and training. Boil the whole article down and what you have is Iran supplying, training and supporting Hamas as well as a rather daunting prospect of well armed urban guerrilla's.


Ymarsakar said...

If I were the Iranians, I would seriously be thinking about setting up Hamas to be the fall guy when it comes to nuking Israel. If Iran launches a missile at Israel with a nuclear warhead, that's going to make it rather hard for Iran to justify Israeli aggression if Israel nukes Iran back. Iran may not care about Iranian civilian deaths but certainly they know that having a better international position wouldn't hurt.

This means that if I were Iran, I would seriously be contemplating setting up the grassroots networks in Hamas land so that if I wanted Israel nuked, I would send the nuke to Hamas and have them detonate it near the Israeli borders or inside Israel even (although that's pretty hard with the security fence).

Hamas may well disappear because of it, but Iran's Hizbollah wing will still be good up in Lebanon. Plenty enough to do whatever Iran needs to get done afterwards.

Ymarsakar said...

In point of fact, if I was Machiavellian enough, I would ensure that the nuke was sent to Hamas and then prematurely detonated so that I could get the Arab world to blame the destruction of Hamas on Israeli "disproportionate" response.

This would create the legal fiction and the international support for the Iranian nuking of Israel.

Yes... that sounds far better all in all. The intentional sacrifice of Gaza or the West Bank would be a minor price to pay.

Anonymous said...

Ymarsakar : Man, you should be writin' instead of Tom Clancy.