Japanese intelligence has learned that Pyongyang, Tehran and Damascus are trying to develop an updated version of the outdated Scud missile that all three still use in their armed forces. Apparently back in May, several new missiles were flown from North Korea and Iran to a Damascus military airfield. From their they went to Syria’s Jebel Druze, a missile-testing site in the southeastern portion of the country near a small town called Salakhand.
Japanese intelligence sources discovered that preparations for the test fire of the Scuds went on for two weeks and the first two to be tested failed miserably and another went totally off course.
The intended area targeted for the Scuds to hit was 310 miles to the North of the launch site and was also the very same desolate desert location that the Russians and Syrians helped Iraq to bury weapons of mass destruction in.
The one missile that successfully launched, veered off course drastically, straying 220-250 miles west of its projected target which placed it in the center of Manbij, a small town near the border of Turkey known for its popular markets. Upon detonation the errant missile killed at least 20 people, injured 60 more and severely damaged the market town.
No longer the secret that the trio had hoped to keep it, beyond being a tragedy that killed and injured innocent civilians, the episode demonstrates a few things.
It highlights the fact that some of the most dangerous and unpredictable regimes in the world are in fact working together in an axis of evil which proves that we better not keep our guard down.
It also demonstrates that while both Iran and North Korea dabble in procuring nuclear capabilities, they are also working hard to produce the technology and capability that could lead to nuclear weaponization.
Another point is that the involvement of Syria in the test would lead one to believe that when Iran and or North Korea do reach the point of nuclear weapon capabilities, they will be sharing it with their Syrian partner.
In addition to those conclusion the devastating results of the tests that took place in May tell us that at this point in time this particular missile system is so far defective and has a serious problem with its guidance system.
In one way that is good news. It means that North Korea, Iran and Syria still have a way to go in their technology and the development of effective and reliable missile technology.
In another way it is still bad news. So far 20 innocent people died as a result of their tests. How many may be killed in their next test? And what if the next defective missile strays off course a little further and strikes Turkey?
In the mean time, while we reflect for a moment on the loss of the twenty people who were just trying to get through another day, we should also reflect on President Obama’s decision to slash the budget of our nation’s missile defense system. Just because these three armed and dangerous stooges can’t shoot their offensive missiles straight yet, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t insure that our defensive missiles can shoot straight and take out one theirs when it is aimed at American interests or goes astray again and jeopardizes an allies civilian population in Turkey or Iraq or elsewhere.