Israel closely watches the whereabouts of the new S-300 surface to air missile system, delivered by Russia to Syria last month, Defense-Update reports.
An Israeli spy satellite has spotted their location northwest of the town of Masyaf in the mountain region, about 30 km from the Mediterranean sea. From its current location, the Syrian missiles dominate a radius of up to 250 kilometers, covering the entire Lebanese airspace, the eastern part of the island of Cyprus, parts of southern Turkey and northern Israel, down to the Sea of Galilee.
The Israeli satellite images acquired earlier today indicate four S-300 launchers are currently deployed in the newly constructed post, while additional elements are still missing. According to an intelligence analysis report provided Imagesat International, the Syrian S-300 is not currently operational. The newly arrived unit is deployed within 1.3 km distance of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile site at Maysaf. Currently, it is not clear whether the new site is controlled by Syria or Russia.
Elements of the S-300 unit, mainly launchers, arrived at Hmeimim airfield by the end of last month. Satellite imagery provided by Imagesat show these elements deployed at a temporary site near the airfield, while construction was underway at the permanent site. This location is designed with earthwork revetments typical of surface-to-air missile posts. These elements were likely moved to the recently spotted Maysaf location by the third week of October.
According to Russian sources the S-300 will be controlled by Russian operators until the Syrian crews are trained, a process the Israelis estimate could take until March 2019. These operators possibly share the existing facilities of the Russian S-400 unit located nearby. Even after the Syrians are fully trained, it is likely that Russian controllers will continue embedding with the Syrian crews.
Moscow : US spy plane coordinated drone attack on Russia’s Syria base
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was speaking about a report made by Russia’s Defense Ministry. It said that the drone attack on the Russian airbase was directed from a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane.
The base located in Latakia governorate has been attacked by primitive drones on numerous occasions. According to Col. Gen. Aleksandr Fomin, Russia’s deputy defense minister, the attack on January 6 was done with direct help from the American military.
Speaking at a high-profile security forum in China, Fomin said a Boeing P-8 Poseidon was deployed in the area on that date, when 13 drones were launched to attack the Russian base. The US reconnaissance plane took control of the drones once the troops defending the base used electronic warfare to disrupt the control signals for the UAVs.
“They were controlled manually, and not by some peasant, but from a capable, well-equipped Poseidon plane,” the Russian general said. He added that the drones were regrouped and directed to suspected zones of vulnerability in the defenses of the Russian base, most likely with the use of satellite data, before being destroyed by the Russian air defense forces.
“If people don’t want to fight terrorists armed with advanced weapons, they should stop arming them,” the general added. Fomin was speaking at the plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on Thursday.
The Russian Defense Ministry has been alluding to the possibility that the drone attacks on Russian military sites in Syria were being enabled by a technologically advanced party since facing this problem in early 2018, but previously avoided accusing the United States directly.
Fomin’s remarks were endorsed later in the day by the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry. “We can only confirm this. We received this absolutely credible information from our military specialists. We have repeatedly voiced our concerns about this,” Maria Zakharova said.
Dmitry Peskov called this data “very alarming,” but referred journalists to the Russian military for further comment.
The Pentagon insists that drones used to attack Russian troops in Syria can easily be built from parts available on the open market.