Friday, April 20, 2018

S-300s' Syria, Russia & Israeli Spin

Israel is presenting the idea that S-300's are headed to Syria as a reality. As if it's guaranteed. 
From what I've seen/read so far this is NOT the case

That said Israel's claim gets me thinking about why Israeli talking heads may be presenting this transfer as a statement of fact?

 Is it because they need a pretext to move on Syria in a much more aggressive manner?

Kremlin mum on Russia's possible deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Syria
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has preferred to refrain from any further comments if the Kremlin supports the idea of providing S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Instead, he advised the media to read President Vladimir Putin’s statement on Syria once again.

"Please read again the president’s statement made several hours after the attack and aggression against Syria. Read it attentively," he said.
 Putin made zero reference to the S-300
Putin’s statement contained no direct reference to the possibility of providing defense systems to Syria. However, on April 16 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was prepared to consider all necessary steps for strengthening Syria’s defenses, including the supplies of air defense systems S-300. Lavrov said "this outrageous act of aggression" by the United States, France and Britain was forcing Russia to give thought to ways of maintaining Syria’s security.
Lavrov’s statement:
“Several years ago we decided not to supply S-300 systems to Syria at our partners’ request. Now, we will consider options to ensure the Syrian state’s security after this outrageous act of aggression from the United States, France and Great Britain,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the BBC.

Lavrov did not state, clearly, concisely or definitively that Russia would supply Syria with the
S-300. He didn't rule it out, but, he definitely did not state that the S-300 was headed to Syria.

Bloomberg presents the Israeli/US perspective  with some very honest admissions about Israeli involvement in the destabilization of Syria
Angered by last week’s U.S. attack on Syria, Russia warned that there would be consequences. Only one of them was spelled out: The Kremlin said it may supply its Syrian ally with state-of-the-art air defenses.

If the prospect rings alarm bells among President Bashar al-Assad’s enemies, they’re likely to be loudest in Israel, not the U.S. Israel carries out airstrikes in Assad-controlled Syrian territory much more frequently than the U.S., as it seeks to prevent a military buildup near Israeli borders by Assad’s other key backer, Iran.
Yes, Israel does carry out more strikes, more frequently on Syria then the US. And yet, the Israeli involvement in attacking Syria goes largely unnoticed. Turkey is often promoted as a more egregious attacker of Syria. But that's not actually the case. Israel has been the single biggest regional destabilizer of Syria- From the get go! I would like to take a moment to remind readers here that when the destabilization of Syria began it was Israel the 'protestors' called out to. Yes, there are posts here covering that fact.

Israeli analysts and former defense officials say there’s only one likely response from the Jewish state if the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems are delivered to Syria: An immediate attempt to blow them up.

That would upend the delicate relationship between Israel and Russia, who’ve kept channels open despite supporting opposite sides in Syria. And it could create another dangerous moment with the potential to escalate the seven-year civil war into a wider conflict.
.In the skies, Israel has for the most part enjoyed freedom of maneuver, thanks to its air superiority -- and an implicit green light from Moscow. Both conditions may now change.
Amos Yadlin has firsthand experience of how Israel responds to such threats -- and no doubts about how it would handle this one.

A former military intelligence chief, Yadlin ...The deployment of S-300s in Syria has been a concern for two decades, and “at the end of the day, it will happen,’’ he said. “If I know the air force well, we have already made proper plans to deal with this threat. After you remove the threat, which is basically what will be done, we’re back to square one.”
Russia already has sold S-300 systems to Iran over American and Israeli objections. Syria was on track to get them too -– until 2013, when Russian President Vladimir Putin froze the contract in response to pleas from Israel. But Putin said at the time that if the U.S. attacked, Moscow would “think how we should act in the future.”
Israel has carried out at least 150 bombing raids in Syria since the civil war began in 2011, according to Zvi Magen, a former Israeli ambassador in Moscow. The latest, on April 9, hit an air base used by the Iranian military; other targets have included arms convoys bound for Hezbollah, the Iranian-armed Shiite group in Lebanon that’s repeatedly fought with Israel.
"Israel has carried out at least 150 bombing raids in Syria since 2011"- think about that.
S-300s can fire missiles at six targets simultaneously, and have a range of 200 kilometers (120 miles). That would extend into the airspace of Lebanon, sometimes used by Israeli planes to strike Syria -- and even into Israel itself.
‘Exceptionally Advanced’

“It’s an exceptionally advanced system that can cover large swaths of territory,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Given Israel’s likely response, some analysts in Moscow say it makes more sense to use the threatened deployment as a bargaining chip.
I suspect the s-300 is being spoken of as a bargaining chip- rather then being actually transferred. But we'll see
Actually delivering the weapons “would fuel tensions in the region and cause major friction with Israel,” said Elena Suponina, a Middle East expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, which advises the Kremlin. “It’s enough to provide Syria with other air-defense systems that won’t provoke such a response.”
Even Syria’s current Soviet-designed systems, which have been upgraded over the last 18 months, have inflicted some damage. In February an F-16 was shot down, said to be the first Israeli aircraft lost in action since the early 1980s. And while the Pentagon says that all of the more than 100 missiles fired in last week’s strike reached their targets, Russia says that two-thirds of them were intercepted. A pro-opposition Syrian monitoring group, citing aerial defense officers, made a similar estimate.
Not Invincible

“Syria already has some good short and medium-range systems,’’ said Jeremy Binnie, Middle East and Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly. Add the S-300s, and “they would be able to form a fairly comprehensive, multi-layered air defense umbrella over their country.”
In any attempt to destroy the new weapons, Israel would probably use U.S.-built F-35 stealth aircraft and electronic warfare, he said.

Russian military experts say that while the S-300 is very powerful, it isn’t foolproof.

“There’s no invincible air-defense system,’’ said Viktor Murakhovsky, a former army colonel who’s now a government adviser. “Just like there are no invincible aircraft.’’


  1. Me thinks that Russia should by-pass giving the Syrian government S-300s... just give them the S-400 and a several ship loads of the Pantsir.

    1. Hey Dwayne:
      I'm keeping an eye on news reports to see what the reality of the s-300 situation actually is.
      Right now, it seems more likely that Russia is dropping this possibility as a bargaining chip/threat to Israel...

    2. According to strategika51 they've been already delivered, free of charge (see Sputnik), but not officially announced yet. While I think the source he provides doesn't back the claim, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it was so. As we have observed time and time again, Russia generally announces things when they have been already implemented in the field.

    3. thanks gallier2- In the latest post on this topic..
      quoted from Lavrov

      I responded to james

      PennyApril 23, 2018 at 5:59 PM

      Hey James!

      It's a tough question. And one I've given thought too.

      1- They don't want to say until it's a done deal

      1 (a) to avoid an Israeli justification/pretext for bombing Syria?

      3- Maybe they'll sell them S-400's instead of S-300's?

      4- Withholding the S-300's for now to use the threat of them, or something else, as leverage against Israel?

      Strategic bluffing? I don't know.

      One of the things I had speculated on was the possibility they might deliver them and then announce it once it was a done deal- because your correct they generally announce once it's done rather then ahead of the time- I'm watching still

  2. Time will tell.

    Dmitry Orlov wrote a good article on Russia Insider pointing out US imperialism is about to come to an end as a result of the USGov.mafia's inability to fund there murderous adventures around the globe using it's military might.

    The US is on the verge of collapse (financially and morally). Israel will soon be at the mercy of it's angry neighbors as they will lose their bully boy being able to protect them. I look forward to the inevitable end as Nature abhors that which is contrary to It's Laws.

    1. " I look forward to the inevitable end as Nature abhors that which is contrary to It's Laws"