Russia has decided to do something about the Israelis setting up its surveillance plane to be shot down by Syria’s outdated S-200 missile system last week. It will now install its latest and more advanced version of the antiaircraft system, the S-300. It is reportedly capable of identifying friend from foe.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 24, 2018
No doubt this is freaking out the Israelis. Prior to this development, they had pretty much a free hand to target anything they wanted in Syria. It’s said they have so far conducted over 200 bombing raids inside the country without fear of a response from the Syrians or the Russians.
Russia doesn’t want an escalation and that’s the primary reason they have not responded to free-wheeling Israeli attacks. That’s the reason Putin talked with Netanyahu.
The Likudnik PM made a fool out of Putin by then “framing” the Russian surveillance plane to take the hit. Putin played down this angle. He said the shoot-down was a “chain of tragic, fatal circumstances.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said something different when it announced the delivery of advanced S-300s on Putin’s orders.
“[Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov]… repeated Moscow’s accusations that Israel was to blame for the crash: ‘No doubt that according to our military experts, deliberate action by Israeli pilots was the reason for the tragedy and this cannot but harm our (Russia-Israeli) ties,’” Reuters reports.
Israel shot back by saying it would “work to improve” what turned out to be a worthless “deconfliction” agreement between the two countries. The Israelis also said they won’t stop killing people in Syria. If Russia is serious, the missile placement will put a damper on Israel’s freedom to target and bomb whatever it wants in Syria.
“Israel says its air strikes on Syria are not a threat to Russia’s ally Assad, but that it must carry them out to halt arms shipments to Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. It has made repeated efforts to persuade Moscow not to sell S-300s to Syria, as it fears this would hinder its aerial capability.”
It appears the S-300 message wasn’t strictly limited to the Israelis.
Shoigu: "Delivery of #Russia's #S300 to #Syria will also stop Western coalition from carrying out uncontrolled attacks on Syrian territory" So #Moscow finds perfect pretext to potentially deal with yet another pressing issue at the same time
— Maxim A. Suchkov (@MSuchkov_ALM) September 24, 2018
I have yet to see this reported anywhere else, but if true it will give the Russian-hating war party an excuse to further ratchet up hostilities and possibly lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States.
Others claim S-300 batteries are already in Syria.
#BREAKING: Sources now stating that the first S-300 systems are already in Syria. The first S-300 systems for Syrian Air Defence Forces were delivered on Sept 22nd. The S-300s were loaded on Russian Il-76 transport aircraft, which arrived at the Khmeimim Air Base – @Defence_blog pic.twitter.com/BHGRaiHT8H
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) September 24, 2018
It remains to be seen what will happen if the Russian system takes out an Israeli fighter jet. This may be used by the Israelis to beg the Americans to start hitting Russian targets. On the other hand, it may shut down Israel’s wanton and murderous behavior for good.
Like the Sword of Damocles, WWIII hangs above on heads suspended by a thread.