A uranium enrichment facility at Qom, Iran - An facility for storing chemical warheads near Damascus
6/9/2013 Ronen Solomon - israeldefense.com
An analysis by Ronen Solomon: postponing a military strike in Syria will commit the US military to striking with the use of aerial bombardments, in order to hit underground bunkers where advanced weapons have been stored
In the past week, US defense officials have claimed that the timing of the operation against Syrian military and government targets, or primarily against the regime's HQs that supervise Syria's unconventional arsenal, will not influence the objectives of the operation, and that it can also be done in a month from now.
This information, delivered by the architects of the strike, is valid on the assumption that the US planned the use of fighter aircraft in advance, and not just the utilization of massive fire of Tomahawk missile from the naval vessels cruising through the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Advanced weapons have been transferred within Syria, apparently including the transfer of chemical warheads from regular bunkers to underground facilities dispersed in the region. This began once that it was understood that the plan for an attack could be on its way with a notice of just days, and would probably include the area where Division 155 - responsible for firing the chemical rockets at the eastern and western suburbs of Damascus - was operating.
Division 155 commands over numerous warehouses of missiles and artillery in the Damascus sector, which can also carry chemical warheads. Most of the infrastructure is routinely deployed or stored in semi-revealed bunkers. However, Syria also constructed underground facilities near the bases deep in the mountain for times of war. The characteristics of these facilities resemble those built by Iran near the city of Qom, in order to protect its nuclear facilities against attacks. The similarity is not accidental - most of Syria's underground infrastructures were constructed with Iranian and North Korean assistance, and are controlled by the Syrian military's elite units also responsible for securing the chemical weapons.
Another example of an underground facility suspected of being tied to the unconventional weapons project is located near the city of Masyaf in Syria's western Hama governorate. This is where Syria constructed warehouses in the depth of the mountain apparently used to store equipment and nuclear materials tied to the reactor project that was destroyed in Al Kibar.
Such facilities can only be breached and destroyed through the use of 'bunker busters'. The GBU-28s 'bunker buster' bomb can be launched from F-15I aircraft, when the target marking is done with a laser beam. The bomb has was given its nickname since it is intended to detonate only after it pierces through the defenses of structures protected deep in the ground.
The educated use of these bombs or similar ones could send a signal to Iran - which is closely observing the developments - as to the ability to damage its underground nuclear facilities, in the event that a diplomatic agreement is not reached.