New evidence unearthed by satellite photography points to Saudi Arabia targeting Israel and Iran with ballistic missiles. Experts at IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review who viewed photos saw a surface-to-surface missile base at al-Watah, around 125 miles southwest of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The launch pads, which are placed on lorries, carry DF 3 missiles that can reach 1,500-2,500 miles with a two-ton payload.
The markings on the launch pads indicated the missiles were pointed in the direction of Tel Aviv and Tehran. Saudi Arabia does have back channel communications with Israel, albeit with no formal recognition. If Iran, which hates Saudi Arabia, goes nuclear, Saudi Arabia is expected also pursue nuclear weapons.
The missiles, which were made by the Chinese in the 1980’s are not remotely guided so they must be set ahead of time in the direction in which they will be fired.
The IHS Jane’s article stated, “One appears to be aligned on a bearing of approximately 301 degrees and suggesting a potential Israeli target, and the other is oriented along an azimuth (bearing) of approximately 10 degrees, ostensibly situated to target Iranian locations.”
Robert Munks, deputy editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, asserted:
Our assessment suggests that this base is either partly or fully operational, with the launch pads pointing in the directions of Israel and Iran respectively. We cannot be certain that the missiles are pointed specifically at Tel Aviv and Tehran themselves, but if they were to be launched, you would expect them to be targeting major cities. We do not want to make too many inferences about the Saudi strategy, but clearly Saudi Arabia does not enjoy good relations with either Iran or Israel.
Officials at the Saudi Embassy in London did not respond to inquiries; the Israeli Embassy in London said, “We have no comment on this matter.”