Syria launches first Scud D missile : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Syria launches first Scud D missile

Special to World MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE Tuesday, September 26, 2000

TEL AVIV  Syria has completed the first launch of its new Scud D surface-to-surface missile.

The missile was tested on Saturday in northeastern Syria. The range of the Scud D is said to be between 600 and 700 kilometers.

Intelligence sources said the missile was fired in northeastern Syria. They said the test is still being studied by Israel and the United States.

But Israeli military sources said the Scud D test was a success. Israel's military was taken aback by the launch of the Scud D and the sources said the test has brought Damascus closer to the production of the Scud C.

"The Syrians are making a great effort to produce their own ballistic missiles and this test is apparently part of what they do from time to time with this system supplied by North Korea," Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh. "The expertise is primarily North Korean and apparently this is a stage of the system they [Syrians] are developing."

The Scud D was developed by North Korea and has a longer range than that of the Scud C, with a range of 500 kilometers. But the two Scud C and D are regarded as being alike in most other ways. Both can be tipped with nonconventional warheads.

Israeli military sources said the Scud D would allow Damascus to reach targets anywhere in Israel from northern Syria. They said this would make it easier for Syria to conceal their missile launchers.

"The range is longer, but the warhead is smaller," former Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben-Eliahu said. "We have to know that if the range is longer the accuracy is less. The main point is that these missiles allow Syria to deploy them in areas that are more difficult for us to reach."

On Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel is closely following the Syrian development of missiles and is prepared for any possibility.

"It is not a positive development," Barak said.

Earlier this month, an Israeli Air Force plan to boost its fleet of fighter planes was approved by Barak, who is also defense minister. The plan included the procurement of special equipment for the air forces's F-15 and F-16 fleet.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 26, 2000

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