Executive Intelligence Review


Russian Delivery of S-300 Air Defense System to Syria Complete

Oct. 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—During the open part of a meeting of the Russian Security Council with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported that deliveries of the S-300 air defense system to Syria have been completed.

“It includes 49 units of equipment, illuminating laser radars, major emitter location systems, command vehicles and four launchers. The work was completed a day ago. We have completed the delivery of the full system to Syria,”

he said.

“Apart from that, we have significantly strengthened and activated the electronic warfare system, and added extra equipment to it. As a result, as of today we control the close zone of up to 50 km and the remote zone, where sorties on Syrian territory mainly originate from, we control 200 km of that.”

Shoigu reported that it will take three months to train Syrian crews to operate the S-300 system and that the necessary personnel and specialists have already been selected and started training. Also underway is work on a unified command system for the overall air defense network, work which will be completed by Oct. 20.

The provision of the S-300 system to Syria was Moscow’s direct response to the accidental shooting down by Syria of a Russian Il-20 intelligence aircraft during Israeli air strikes on a Syrian military facility on the night of Sept. 17, an incident that the Russian Defense Ministry held Israel responsible for.

At the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert criticized the delivery of the S-300 system, calling it a “sort of a serious escalation in concerns and issues going on in Syria.”

In contrast to the usual line, Ha’aretz commentator Gideon Levy thanked the Russians for putting limits on what the Israelis can do.

“For the first time in years another state is making it clear to Israel that there are restrictions to its power, that it’s not okay for it to do whatever it wants, that it’s not alone in the game, that America can’t always cover for it and that there’s a limit to the harm it can do,”

he writes. Levy says that Israel needs such limits like it needs oxygen.

“Suddenly someone stood up and said: Stop right there. At least in Syria: That’s the end of it. Thank you, Mother Russia, for setting limits on a child whom no one has restrained for a long time.”

Levy writes that in April, retired Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and other officers had threatened that if Russia were to deliver S-300s to Syria, the Israeli air force would simply destroy them.

“Every state is entitled to have weapons for defense against jet bombers, including Syria, and no state is permitted to prevent that forcibly,”

Levy writes, saying that this sounds bizarre to Israeli ears.

“The idea that other countries’ sovereignty is meaningless, that it can always be disrupted by force, and that Israeli sovereignty alone is sacred, and supreme; that Israel can mix in the affairs of the region to its heart’s content—including by military intervention, whose true extent is yet to be clarified in the war in Syria—without paying a price, in the name of its real or imagined security, which sanctifies anything and everything—all this has suddenly run into a Russian ‘nyet.’ Oh, how we needed that nyet, to restore Israel to its real dimensions.”