On 6 September, Israeli aircraft bombed a large building at Dayr az-Zawr, a town on the Euphrates about 60 miles west of the Syria-Iraq border and 250 miles north-east of Damascus. The raid effectively destroyed the complex, which was under construction at the time.
Prior to the main attack, the strike force attacked a Syrian air defence facility at Tall al-Abyad, near the Turkish border. The site, which comprised two radar systems and probably a mix of SAMs, was damaged and disabled with a mix of electronic attack and conventional PGMs, thus allowing the strike force to penetrate Syrian airspace without being engaged or even detected.
Then came the real surprise: immediately after the suppressive attack at Tall Abyad, Syria's entire air defence radar network crashed for a period of time long enough for the IAF to complete its mission and exit the way it entered – again without being detected electronically. This is no mean feat considering that Syria is widely regarded as having the densest and most comprehensive air defence system (ADS) in the region.
After Syria finally got around to acknowledging the raid, two burning questions arose:
1. How did the non-stealthy F-15s and F-16s penetrate the Syrian ADS perimeter without being detected?
2. How could the strike force have effectively neutralized most or all of Syria's nationwide ADS radar coverage if it attacked only one ADS node?
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Behind Israel's 2007 Attack on Syria.
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