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Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

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sayeret matkal soldiers - Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

After the leadership of Bashar Al Assad in 2001, the relationship between Syria and North Korea drastically increased. Assad was on a frequent visit to North Korea. Aman, the Military Intelligence of Israel found it fishy and reported it to Mossad but unfortunately, they denied it. Later in 2004, The US intelligence, CIA reported multiple calls between DPRK and Syria which gave Mossad sleepless nights.

In the same year, A train carrying fossil fuel and petrochemical components crashed which resulted in the massive explosion and death of 12 Syrian Nuclear technicians. An MI6 agent says that Israel was behind this bombing of the train but no proofs were found for the same. When their body was being exported, Mossad saw something inconvincible! The Korean men were wearing Nuclear Shielded suits when they were exporting the dead bodies of Syrian technicians! This made Mossad think something is seriously wrong!

The before and after images of Syrian Nuclear Reactor base - Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

A still frame taken from video material released on March 21, 2018 shows a combination image of what the Israeli military describes is before and after an Israeli air strike on a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site near Deir al-Zor on Sept 6, 2007. (Photo: Reuters)

Mossad intensified its operation in North Korea. They hired a female agent and successfully honey trapped a Syrian scientist and in the meantime, the Mossad operatives managed to unlock his door and entered the room he stayed. They found his laptop which was completely unprotected! They transferred all the data from his laptop to hard-disk with no time and the honey trap was successful. This data was immediately sent to the then Mossad Head, Meir Dagan at Tel Aviv. Mossad was shocked to see the data related to Nuclear program. Dagan immediately ordered the Israeli space station to take the pictures of Al-kibar. They were shocked to see an isolated building and with communication around it. Thus Mossad confirmed the existence of the active Nuclear program in Al-kibar. Since Syria is one of the countries which vows to remove Israel from the world map, considering this a serious threat, Dagan informed to this their then-PM Ehud Olmert.

After the discussion, they at any cost wanted to know, was the nuclear reactor fully built and under working condition/Operational? They badly wanted to know this and the first thing came to their mind was Israel’s Elite black ops Commando unit, The Sayeret Matkal.

Sayeret Tzanhanim members - Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

Mossad ordered the Sayeret Matkal to get the water and the soil sample outside the reactor to make sure whether the reactor was destroyable. The Sayeret Matkal commandos used three Sikorsky CH-53 chopper which is capable of flying at very low altitude and is certainly noiseless. The mission of getting water and soil sample outside Syrian reactor was successful by Israeli commandos. This was sent to Israeli nuclear testing center and was fortunately NOT fully operational.

Now after getting to know that the Syrian Reactor is not fully operational, The Mossad was left with only option, “Either Do or Die”. With no option remaining they have to destroy the Syrian Nuclear Reactor. For this operation, they used the famous and experienced fighter jets (same jets used to destroy Iraqi nuclear reactor during Saddam Hussein’s era) of the Israeli Air Force, The 69 “Hammers” Squadron

The Mossad hacked the Syrian Air defense system so that no Israeli fighter planes are captured. The seven Squadron jets than enters the Syrian airspace and with no time detects the Al-kibar reactor and destroys it with 1.5 tons explosives and the signal sound “Arizona” reaches Tel Aviv which is the code word for Mission Accomplished in Israeli military language.

Now the only stuff that bothered Meir Dagan was, How did Syria manage to build the nuclear with utmost secrecy! After a lot of research, the Mossad found that the main man behind this success is Syrian General Mohammed Suleiman.

Muhammad Suleiman - Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

Army commander, Gen. Michel Suleiman salutes during a ceremony in the Christian town of Jounieh, Lebanon in this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007 file photo. The largest bloc in Lebanon’s deadlocked parliament has dropped its opposition to the army chief becoming the next president, bringing Gen. Michel Suleiman one step closer to being the new head of state and ending Lebanon’s year-long political crisis, a lawmaker said Wednesday Nov. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

He was the main man behind the utmost secrecy of developing Nuclear Weapon. The Mossad told their PM that Syria will be able to construct a fully operational Nuclear Reactor if this man is alive. So the final mission of Mossad was to assassinate mastermind behind it, general Mohammad Suleiman.

It’s obvious that Mossad for the assassination of their enemies, use their most ferocious unit, The Kidon.

mossads kidon - Operation Orchard: Bombing of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor

Kidon is one of the most ruthless assassination units in the world. They have no mercy for Israeli’s enemies. In 2008, Mossad gathered intelligence that Suleiman would be visiting his home in Tartous for a small get-together. The Mossad and the Kidon prepared for this. They sent the effective snipers of Kidon to Tartous. The snipers made a scuba diving and managed to get near the shore and waited for the right time. Around 6 in the evening, the Snipers aimed their target and hit Suleiman twice, One on the chest and other on the neck!

Thus came the end of Syrian Nuclear Romance with North Korea. Altogether Mossad used the Army, IDF and Kidon to finish off the threat to them in the most fascinating way.

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Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

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Exercito Portugues substitui a espingarda automatica G3

On the 20th February 2019, FN Herstal was awarded a major contract for thousands of assault rifles,  by NATO’s Support & Procurement Agency (NSPA) on behalf of the Portuguese Army.  The contract is for the 5.56x45mm  caliber FN SCAR L assault rifles. Included in this contrat, FN will also supply other guns, namely the FN40GL grenade launchers, MINIMI 5.56 and 7.62 Mk3 light and medium machine guns respectively, and the designated Marksman Rifle SCAR-H in 7,62x51mm.

C57I5366 4 640x427 - Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

The NSPA, is the main logistics and procurement agency of NATO and is able to handle and support procurement for member nations. NSPA described the contract as a ‘major milestone’ for the agency. The contract was signed by FN’s sales director and NSPA General Manager.

NSPA made a short statement:

“NSPA awarded today a contract to Belgium-based FN Herstal, one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of small caliber weapons. This is for the Agency a major contract to produce FN SCAR® assault rifles and FN MINIMI® machine guns as new standard issue weapons for the Portuguese Army’s.

The contract includes the manufacture and supply of 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO caliber FN SCAR® assault rifles, FN40GL grenade launchers, MINIMI® 5.56 and 7.62 Mk3 Tactical light machine guns, and all related accessories.

The Portuguese Army’s standard issue service rifle is currently a Portuguese license produced variant of the Heckler & Koch G3, while the MG3 and HK21 are used in the General Purpose and Light Machine Gun purpose. The exact size of this new contract and its worth have not yet been announced, but In 2017, when the program was released, the acquisition called for 11 000 assault rifles in 5.56x45mm. The value of this weapons package procurement would be €42.8 million ($50.3 million).

This is a major acquisition for the Portuguese Army as the old G3 Battle Rifles are outdated, even in its class, and are obvious not adequate for the assault role. This purchase does not only manage to replace the G3 Battle rifle with one of the best current assault rifles, if not the best, but it will allow that the Portuguese Army to change the fire dynamics of it´s small units, increasing firepower and combat capabilities and being able to have more Hit probability on the enemy.

C57I5761 3 640x461 - Portuguese Army new Assault Rifle: SCAR-L in 5,56x45mm

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Ansariya Ambush: Israel’s SOF Greatest Military Defeat

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shayetet 13 commandos in Ansariya Ambush - Ansariya Ambush: Israel's SOF Greatest Military Defeat

The 12 Israeli soldiers killed in an ambush in southern Lebanon on September 5, 1997 were betrayed by a Lebanese double agent. It was Israel’s greatest military humiliation in Lebanon since 1985 and Hezbollah’s most crushing intelligence operation ever. Even the Israeli map that led the soldiers to their deaths was allegedly drawn by the pro-Iranian militia, the Independent reported.

On September 5, 1997, the unit suffered a major blow during a raid in Lebanon. A force of sixteen Shayetet 13 commandos landed on Lebanon’s coast, south of Sidon between the towns of Loubieh and Ansariya. Speculation about their mission was that they were trying to assassinate a senior Shia Muslim cleric of the Hezbollah movement. In fact, it was this same leader – the assassination target of the Israelis – who set up what can only be described as a classic guerrilla ambush.

Ansariya Ambush 1997 - Ansariya Ambush: Israel's SOF Greatest Military Defeat

Ansariya Ambush Lebanon, 1997

They landed in the dark early hours of that Friday and started moving inland. The IDF said the force had been “on its way to its mission” when it was ambushed. Hezbollah and Amal commandos were lying in wait for them. The clash took place outside a 15-km deep security zone which Israel occupied in south Lebanon. The soldiers were ambushed after entering an orchard booby-trapped with bombs, which exploded as they entered.

The IDF knew that on September 4, 1997, while the Shayetet commandos were sailing toward Lebanon, Hezbollah went radio silent. The MID estimated at the time the decision had to do with the raised level of alert in Hezbollah, which was worried about Israeli retaliation for a terror attack in Jerusalem earlier in the day, which claimed the lives of three Israelis. No one even imagined the possibility Hezbollah raised the level of alert in the organization because of an intelligence leak. Radio silence normally means the enemy was waiting, Ynetnews revealed.

“Even in a group skydive, there comes a moment when the skydivers let go of each other, and then each is left to himself, alone with the parachute.”

The commandos were knocked to the ground and came under heavy fire, killing the force’s commander, Lt. Col. Yossi Korakin almost immediately. More commandos were killed when the firing triggered the explosives one of the commandos was carrying. Israel immediately dispatched a rescue team in a CH-53 helicopter. A rescue force of helicopters and missile boats arrived, joining in a battle that lasted until dawn as the rescuers evacuated the dead. Mortar shells exploded nearby, killing a doctor in the rescue force, and shrapnel hit the CH-53, but it was able to take off.

The IDF lost twelve dead, including eleven Shayetet 13 commandos, while six Hezbollah and Amal fighters and two Lebanese soldiers were also killed. The uncollected remains of the Israeli soldiers were returned to Israel on June 25, 1998 in a prisoner exchange deal.

After 14 years, Hezbollah revealed that they knew the position of the commandos in advance thanks to the interception of video footage broadcast by Israeli UAVs that were hovering over the area in the days before the mission.

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