Iran has vast underground facilities for both nuclear and conventional military purposes. Syria does too. And Hamas and Hezbollah both have large networks of underground tunnels and storehouses for bringing in thousands of rockets and other weapons from Iran.
According to a UPI story today, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards control four separate companies that have been busy building underground facilities including hidden missile launching sites, smuggling tunnels and weapon storage bunkers in Iran, Syria, Gaza, and the Bekka Valley. The vast tunnel network in Gaza was used and is still being used to supply Iranian weapons, including short range missiles that continue to be launched into Israel.
These little-known companies -- the Fater Engineering Institute, Imensazen Consultant Engineers' Institute, the Makin Institute and the Rahab Institute -- are subsidiaries of Khatam al-Anbia. This is a sprawling construction empire that has been under U.S. Treasury sanctions since 2007. It is owned by the Revolutionary Guards, which has become a vast military-based conglomerate that controls much of Iran's economy.Hezbollah now has 300 Scud missiles in underground launch sites. All of these facilities are politically immune to Israeli attack, since many of them are hidden in civilian neighborhoods. When Israel attacked the facilities in Gaza, the rest of the world condemned them for killing civilians. Some European organizations are still advocating war crimes trials.
Iran is using these firms in its efforts to provide hardened underground complexes for its nuclear facilities, such as the new uranium enrichment center near the holy city of Qom that is being built inside a mountain.
According to Arab sources, engineers from Khatam al-Anbia helped Syrian build several underground bunker complexes. They also acted as consultants to Hezbollah, which has built an elaborate network of bunker complexes containing missile storage and launching facilities, command and communications centers and linking tunnels in south Lebanon following the 2006 war with Israel.
Similar underground networks have been built in the Bekaa Valley, Hezbollah's heartland in northeastern Lebanon along the border with Syria, which supplies much of the movement's weaponry.
An earlier system built in the south, and largely undetected by Israeli intelligence, gave Hezbollah a decisive advantage in fighting Israeli ground forces during the second half of the 34-day war in 2006.
The enemies are gathering. Never before have so many weapons of such strength been arrayed against Israel. Behind it all is Iran and Ahmadinejad, working to isolate, then attack, then "wipe Israel from the face of the earth". They already have tens of thousands of rockets on Israel's borders, and soon will have nuclear missiles launched directly from Iran.
An Israeli defense would necessarily involve full scale war (with ground troops and tanks) against Syria, southern Lebanon, and Gaza, and a long-term aerial bombing campaign against Iran. Since some of Iran's facilities are deeply buried, Israel would likely need to use nuclear weapons to ensure their destruction -- especially since the US will not give them bunker buster bombs. Since Israel only has 6 tanker aircraft (converted old Boeing 707s), and since the US may even interdict aerial attacks on Iran, Israel may need to use their Jericho nuclear missiles instead of aircraft.
Russia recently confirmed that they will be sending the S300 air and missile defense systems to Iran, so Israel must act soon. Since the Islamists hide in the civilian communities surrounding Israel, hundreds of thousands of civilians in those neighborhoods would be killed during the Israeli attacks on Hamas and Hezbollah.
Did I mention that Hezbollah has cruise missiles now too?
Iran and their surrogates have worked for 30 years, moving chess pieces to their proper places, in order to put Israel into a corner that they have no way of getting out of. And with Obama in office, they will get no help from the US.
I fear that the US is getting ready to sacrifice Israel much as Britain sacrificed Czechoslovakia to the Germans -- to have "peace for our time", as Chamberlain said.
It will work just about as well as Chamberlain's appeasement did. I truly foresee Iranian domination stretching from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean -- unless Saudi Arabia's Wahhabis decide not to let it happen. But that would risk the overthrow of the House of Saud.
It will be very interesting indeed to see how this will all play out.