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Israel-Gaza War (and Iranian Distractions)

Yazata Offline
Not much news today.

Lots of speculation that the expected Israeli attack on Iran won't happen until the end of Passover, on April 30.

But the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leadership is taking no chances and have dispersed to scattered safe houses.
Zinjanthropos Online
(Apr 18, 2024 05:12 AM)Yazata Wrote: Not much news today.

Lots of speculation that the expected Israeli attack on Iran won't happen until the end of Passover, on April 30.

But the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leadership is taking no chances and have dispersed to scattered safe houses.

Probably not a good time to have a job at an Iranian nuclear facility.

I wouldn’t feel free from harm in a safe house. Seems like the IDF is always one step ahead. Must have great intel. Iranians and Hamas must look around the room after an accurate Israeli air strike and wonder who tipped them off. Whether inside people, radio intercepts, spy satellites, trackers etc, the Israelis somehow know the whereabouts of high ranking enemy staff.
Yazata Offline
Something big is happening... It's On

First, the King of Jordan has been publicly asking that Israeli attacks on Iraq not transit through Jordanian airspace.

And perhaps associated with that, a major Syrian radar site was hit today by unknown aircraft, presumably Israeli. I'm guessing that they don't want Damascus telling Tehran the contents of Israeli strike packages passing over Syria, headed east. Just minutes ago a Syrian airbase was struck.

Iraqi media are reporting an air-strike in central Baghdad, said to to have targeted a meeting between high-ranking Shi'ite militia leaders and IRGC officers.

There are reports of "intense air activity by unknown aircraft" over northern Iraq. Headed east?

And most interesting: Reports are coming out of Iran of several loud booms heard in each of the Iranian cities of Isfahan and Natanz. There were no air raid sirens heard prior to the booms. They might have been sonic booms, but it's telling that both of these Iranian cities have nuclear sites nearby.

Air raid sirens now sounding in Iran. Video on the internet of Iranian surface to air missiles launching over Isfahan.

An unidentified "US official" has confirmed that Israeli aircraft have struck "a location in Iran".

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps confirms that missiles have struck in Isfahan province. So I'm guessing that the initial strike was with ballistic missiles, with aircraft presumably a follow-up.

Tehran's Imam Khomenei International Airport has just cancelled all flights and travelers have been ordered to leave the airport.

Today is Iran's Supreme Leader's 85th birthday. Happy birthday Ali Khamanei, hope you enjoy your gift from the Israelis.

Talk in the last few days was that Israel's attack probably wouldn't come until after Passover. Apparently that was a bit of misdirection.

Israel is known to have Storm Shadow-style air launched cruise missiles that would allow Israeli aircraft to strike sites with dangerous air defenses from stand-off distances while putting pilots at less risk. The Israeli-made Rampage is less formidable than the Storm Shadow, with a 300 pound warhead (compared to the Storm Shadow's 1000 pound warhead) and a range of less than 150 miles. It's also too big to fit in an F-35 internal bay, so I'd guess they would be carried by F-15's.
Yazata Offline
US "officials" are insisting that the Israeli strikes are "limited" and that the targets are "not nuclear".

Fire trucks and emergency vehicles reported by unofficial Iranian sources heading to the 8th Tactical Airbase of the Iranian Air Force at Isfahan.

Iranian state media are claiming that there's been no damage at Iranian nuclear sites.

IRGC related media are claiming that there's really been no Israeli attack and that while some air defenses fired off making loud booms, this was due to the "high sensitivity" of the air defense and the tension of the situation.

So... whatever is happening might be a lot more limited and restrained than anyone expected. The Israelis might have "gone small", just demonstrating that they can penetrate Iranian airspace wherever they like and hit anything they want, without actually causing much damage. Iran's big attack last Saturday just caused minor damage to one important Israeli airbase near the Israeli nuclear weapons site at Dimona. So today Israel causes unknown damage to one important Iranian airbase deep inside Iran (which just happens to be near a major Iranian nuclear site).

And the Iranians in turn seem to be playing the whole thing down. It might be that neither side wants things to escalate too dramatically. Though I expect that the Iranians will continue striking Israel through their proxies.

If that's so, then nothing has really changed. It's certainly not what I'd hoped to see.
C C Offline

Gregg Carlstrom: "Very encouraging, in terms of possible further escalation, that the IRGC's first reaction to what appears to be an overnight Israeli attack is to get someone in their media department searching 'stock photos of cute baby drones'."

Hossein Dalirian: "It seems the American media have dreamed that Israel attacked Iran. Otherwise, a failed attack with a few quadcopters, which ended up shooting down a few small birds, is not considered an attack anywhere in the world."

WRAL NEWS: "Hossein Dalirian, a spokesman for Iran's civilian space program, said on the X social media platform that several small 'quadcopter' drones had been shot down. It wasn't immediately clear where that happened or if it was part of the ongoing incident in Iran."

TASNIM NEWS AGENCY (state run in Iran): "So far, there are no reports of an attack from abroad. Some knowledgeable sources told Tasnim that, contrary to rumors and claims of the Israeli media, until this moment there are no reports of an attack from abroad on Isfahan or any other part of the country."

Almog Boker: "Based on the reports from Iran and the US, this is a limited and targeted attack on the Hastam Shikari air force base near Isahfan, a base that took part in the attack against Israel last week. Official Israel does not comment."

Alex Marquardt: "A US official confirms to me that Israel has carried out a strike against Iran. Both the official and another senior US official say Israel indicated they would not attack nuclear targets. US didn't 'green-light' this attack, the 2nd official told me."
Yazata Offline
Reports are coming in that facilities belonging to members of the Popular Mobilization Front, the umbrella organization of Iranian IRGC-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq, were attacked today. So far there's been no confirmation about who struck but the Israelis are the obvious suspects. What's more, drones belonging to the US Army may have been active as well (unconfirmed).

The headquarters of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia was hit and there's video of some impressive secondary explosions indicating that ammunition was stored there. Casualties in this strike are said to be at least 28.

Another location hit was the headquarters of Kataib Hezbollah.

Iraqi photo of the Hashd al-Shaabi HQ

[Image: GLj6tCtXIAAa1eM?format=jpg&name=small]
[Image: GLj6tCtXIAAa1eM?format=jpg&name=small]

Yazata Offline
Both Israel and the United States deny any involvement in today's attacks on the Popular Mobilization Front.

In my opinion one or both of them are lying.

The Iraqis think it was the Israelis, which is my guess too.

(I approve of Israel hitting these Iranian IRGC-proxies, who have a history of launching Iranian-made drones at Israel, while Iraq condemns it.)
confused2 Online
Whatever you or I think is true .. what follows is likely to be much closer to what the Palestinians demonstrating in our cities believe is true.

October 7: Al Jazeera investigates

Some key points (which may or not be true)

The Hannibal Directive

Quote:Israeli newspapers have reported that the IDF was issued orders echoing the wording of the Hannibal Directive during the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel. The IDF was ordered to prevent "at all costs" the abduction of Israeli civilians or soldiers, possibly leading to the death of a large number of Israeli hostages.
"You see a lot of houses that have been destroyed by heavy weaponry - clearly the Israelis"

Questions about the veracity of reporting start at 12:56

"20 children bound and burnt" - there weren't 20 children present at the time.
"Female stabbed and baby torn out" - sketchy at best.
"Mass rape as a weapon of war" - that rape occurred in the confusion isn't ruled out - no evidence of mass rape.
Yazata Offline
Yesterday the British Royal Navy's Type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond became the first British warship to ever shoot down a ballistic missile in actual combat when it destroyed an Iranian made anti-ship ballistic missile that had been fired by the Yemeni Houthis at the US civilian cargo vessel MV Yorktown in the Gulf of Aden. (Way to go, Brits!)

The intercept was performed by the Franco-Italian-British Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS)

[Image: GMBjRwJWgAAzNVI?format=jpg&name=small]
[Image: GMBjRwJWgAAzNVI?format=jpg&name=small]

The white bunny suits the British sailors are wearing are flash-gear, designed to protect personnel from flash burns from exploding ordinance. The US Navy uses them too.

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