WASHINGTON — American intelligence analysts have concluded that a recent Israeli airstrike on a warehouse in Syria did not succeed in destroying all of the Russian-made antiship cruise missiles that were its target, American officials said on Wednesday, and that further Israeli strikes are likely.
Israel carried out an attack on July 5 near Latakia to destroy the missiles, which Russia had sold to Syria. While the warehouse was destroyed, American intelligence analysts have now concluded that at least some of the Yakhont missiles had been removed from their launchers and moved from the warehouse before the attack.
The officials who described the new assessment declined to be identified because they were discussing classified information.
The air forces of Israel and the United States launched on Sunday a joint drill, the Israeli military said in a statement.
An undisclosed number of F-15 and F-16 fighter jets from both sides are participating in the training event, code named Juniper Stallion 13, held at the Israel Air Force(IAF)’s Uvda Base in the southern Negev Desert, during which pilots will practice air-to- air combat maneuvers, mid-air refueling, bombing runs and other missions.
The two-week drill comes at a time of heightened tensions along Israel’s frontiers with Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, but the Israel Defense Forces(IDF) emphasized it is part of regularly scheduled training between the two nations.
Satellite imagery shows scale of strike in Syria
STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON SYRIA, GENERAL DEMPSEY AND NEW ISW STUDY ON LIMITED STRIKES AGAINST ASSAD AIR FORCE
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today submitted to the Congressional Record the following statement on the situation in Syria, General Dempsey’s recent letter on military options, and a new study by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assessing the requirements for a limited military strike on the Syrian regime’s air force.
In the statement, Senator McCain specifically addresses General Dempsey’s July 19, 2013 letter regarding military options in Syria and the new ISW study on limited strikes:
“In a letter dated July 19, 2013 to the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and myself, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, described the requirements to conduct various military options in Syria. He spoke of scenarios that would demand hundreds of military assets and thousands of special forces to resource military options that no one is seriously considering.