Posted by mossomo on 2 February, 2013 at 2:00 pm. Be the first to comment!

missile launcher syria

The Background

Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) – the Scientific Studies and Research Center is the Syrian government agency responsible for non-conventional weapons development and production, including research on weapons of mass destruction and missiles that can deliver them.

According to – Secretly assisted by Russian chemical experts, the Syrian military research and development and industrial complex known as the Scientific Studies and Research Center had little trouble getting the required expertise, technology and materials from Russian sources to produce VX nerve gas.

Nuclear Threat Initiative has this to say on the SSRC.

Established in 1969, the stated goal of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) is to advance and coordinate scientific activities in Syria.  The SSRC is considered to be the best-equipped research center in Syria, possessing better technical capacity and equipment than the four Syrian universities.  Although supposedly autonomous, Jane’s Intelligence Services and other analysts believe the SSRC to be linked to the military establishment, where it is allegedly responsible for new research and development of nuclear, biological, chemical, and missile-related technology.  The SSRC also works with the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria, forming a nexus between the country’s primary atomic, military, and scientific establishments.


  • 1996 – The Washington Times reported on July 23, 1996 that the CIA had discovered that Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center received a shipment of missile components from China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation, China’s premier firm selling missiles abroad.
  • In 2004, Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said in a report on Syria that the SSRC had been developing ricin based biological weapons.
  • In 2005, former US president George Bush designated [Executive Order 13382] the SSRC as a weapons proliferator, accusing it of developing missiles as well as biological and chemical weapons.
  • 2007 – US Treasury froze assets/banned trade with three Syrian institutes that are subsidiaries of the SSRC, listing SSRC as the “Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them.”
  • September 2010 – The international community should warn Damascus that a Syrian “institute” responsible for transferring weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas “will be demolished” if it continues arming terrorist organizations, Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, director of the National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, said.

Sunday 1/27/2013

  • Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom warned Sunday, Israel could launch a pre-emptive strike to stop Syria’s chemical weapons from reaching Lebanon’s Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda-inspired groups.
  • The warning came as the military moved a rocket defense system [Iron Dome] to the northern city of Haifa.

Monday 1/28/2013

  • Israel’s Security Council head Yaakov Amidror headed to Russia on Monday.
  • The visit coincided with Israel’s growing concern that Syrian chemical weapons may fall into the hands of radical Islamist groups.
  • Israeli media said it was an “emergency visit.
  • previously stated SSRC was secretly assisted by Russian chemical experts.

Tuesday 1/29/2013

  • Israeli warplanes violate Lebanese airspace conducting surveillance flights.
  • Lebanese officials state Israeli violations of Leb airspace is not uncommon, but say they have increased in the past few days.

Wed 1/30/2013

  • Reported air strike appears to have targeted site that fits definition of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which has been labeled a state organization responsible for developing biological, chemical weapons.

Thursday 1/31/2013

  • Syrian state television said Israel had hit “scientific research centers aimed at raising the level of resistance and self-defense.
  • Hezbollah on Thursday condemned the raid, saying it targeted a “scientific research center.”

Friday 2/1/2013

  • Lebanon’s official news agency says planes conducting ‘mock raids’ over south of country (areas of Marjayoun, Hasbia and Rashaya al-Wadi in southern Lebanon, as well as over the Shebaa area and Mount Hermon).
  • Syrian rebels slam Assad inaction on alleged Israeli airstrike near Damascus on Wednesday.  ‘We know who the real enemy is’.
  • Iraqi daily Azzaman quoted a Western diplomatic source as saying Thursday that the alleged Israeli attack on Syria reported on Wednesday caused heavy casualties among special Iranian Guards stationed at the Syrian facility.

The Fog of War: Israeli airstrike targeted convoy of trucks inside Syria, US and regional officials say.

Israel launched an airstrike inside Syria overnight near the border with Lebanon, according to U.S. and regional officials.

The regional officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a convoy of trucks shipping weapons bound for the Islamist militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically “game-changing” in the hands of Hezbollah.

A U.S. official [unnamed] confirmed the strike, saying it hit a convoy of trucks.

Syrian army command denies earlier reports IAF had struck convoy carrying weapons from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

One lump or two?  In another incident, Syrian state TV said an airstrike hit a military research center northwest of the capital [SSRC], Damascus in Jamraya. It said the strike caused material damage and the center was used to advance Syrian military capabilities.

TIME magazine quotes Western intelligence officials as saying that ‘at least one to two additional targets’ were hit in alleged airstrike Tuesday night, Israel had ‘green light’ from Washington to launch yet more such strikes. ‘Israeli jets struck several targets in Syria’

Free Republic postulates on the theory of two strikes.

This is the general shape of the story so far. Syria has a reasonable motive for denying the convoy, because transferring WMDs wouldn’t just cross Israel’s red lines, it might even prompt NATO action. And Assad wants to look like the victim of Zionist oppression.

Obama and European leaders have likely told Israel to stay out of Syria because they don’t want Assad to score PR points in the Muslim world by engaging in a conflict with Israel, not that he is currently in any shape to do so. Israel has likely responded that it will do so, unless the red line is crossed.

The Syrian strike can be seen as a precursor to a strike on Iran as Israel demonstrates that it will take action if a WMD red line is crossed.

Bravado: Well-placed sources in Israel tells Fox News that the Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for attacking — twice over the last week — what is believed to be the same facility [SSRC].

These sources believe that the rebels attacked the facility and that the Assad government is claiming that the Israelis executed the strike to garner public support for the government by conflating the rebels with international conspirators, as the government has sought to do since the onset of the revolution.

More Background

The missiles in question are stated to be SA-17 anti-aircraft.  Missile is a misnomer.  Basically the “missiles” are tanks with anti-aircraft batteries on the turret.  Mobile and hard to trace, would be a game changer for the IAF if Hezbollah deployed them in Leb.

It defeats strategic and tactical aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air-launched missiles, guided aerial bombs and helicopters, including hovering rotorcraft, in the presence of heavy electronic countermeasures and under intense enemy fire. Moreover, it can be used against sea-surface and ground targets.

Grizzly is essentially a tracked chassis that carries a radar and a launcher with four missiles. A total of four ready to fire missiles are carried on a turntable type launcher assembly mounted on the vehicle’s rear decking. The phased-array radar is mounted at a raised angle at the head of the turntable assembly. Grizzly is essentially a tracked chassis that carries a radar and a launcher with four missiles. A total of four ready to fire missiles are carried on a turntable type launcher assembly mounted on the vehicle’s rear decking. The phased-array radar is mounted at a raised angle at the head of the turntable assembly.

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