Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel. An F15/16 attack there is not a tiptoe across the border, but a deep, deep penetration of Syrian airspace. And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when that penetration took place on September 6th.
El blanko. Silence. The systems didn’t even light up, gave no indication whatever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace, zip, zero, nada. The Israelis (with a little techie assistance from us) blinded the Russkie antiaircraft systems so completely the Syrians didn’t even know they were blinded.
Now you see why the Syrians have been scared speechless. They thought they were protected – at enormous expense – only to discover they are defenseless. As in naked.
Thus the Great Iranian Freak-Out – for this means Iran is just as nakedly defenseless as Syria.
This isn’t the first time Israel has struck into Syrian airspace with nary a response. And I doubt it will be the last time.
I have previously stated that as we deactivate the F-117s, we should sell some of them to Israel. I still think that’s a good idea, but maybe they aren’t really needed.
Meanwhile, I’ve totally been waiting for someone to float the idea that US stealth planes actually conducted this raid (possibly from Iraq, whose border isn’t so far from Dayr az-Zawr, but I’ve been disappointed.
Though stealth is obviously a great advantage, this is just another demonstration that it isn’t the end-all beat-all when it comes to military aircraft.