Israel, Lebanon, Hezbollah, rockets
Here's the problem: Haifa is at least 35 kilometers from the nearest point in Lebanon as the missile flies. A plain-old surplus Soviet-grade Katyusha *at best* could be launched untargeted to about 20 or 25 km. They can't really target effectively beyond about 6 km, even. Haifa also sits out on a peninsula sticking west into the Mediterranean. They're reporting a good onshore flow right now, and there's no way a missile flying into a cross/headwind at the very edge of its range is going to make that target. The Israeli military was also caught off-guard by this as well, so I know I'm at least in the ballpark with this analysis.Turns out Maniak was right. From the times article linked above:
Hezbollah said it was using a new rocket, called Thunder 1, that is more advanced than the standard Katyusha, which does not have enough range to reach the 18 miles between the border and Haifa.Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to secure Maniak’s permission in time to scoop the NYT on this. Maniak speculated that the rockets that hit Haifa were Iranian Fahr-3 rockets. I don’t know anything about this Thunder 1, or whether it is at all related to the Fahr-3.
Rocket geekery aside, there are numerous big questions: How much Syrian and/or Iranian influence is going on here? Will Israel expand its attacks to Syria? Will Lebanon be able to control or disarm Hezbollah, or will Hezbollah be able to drag Lebanon into war with Israel at will? Will Egypt and Jordan be able to maintain their peace with Israel? Will the United States get involved? Will the US attack or invade Syria or Iran?
I’m hoping cooler heads prevail, and that the UN Security Council is able to impose or broker some kind of ceasefire. But from the NYT articles I’ve been reading, it seems like militant mindsets are dominant. This can’t be good news for the people of the Middle East. Or for oil prices.