By noon on September 24, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu delivered a sensational and extremely tough statement. He explained how in the coming days Russia will respond to the air attack on Israel on September 17, during which the Russian reconnaissance aircraft Il-20M was unintentionally shot down. Apparently, these are the very measures that, as the Russian President Vladimir Putin promised earlier, “everyone will notice.”
First, according to Shoigu, the first anti-aircraft missile system S-300 will be handed over to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks. This SAM, the minister said, is capable of intercepting airborne assaults at ranges of more than 250 km and simultaneously hitting several air targets. The complex will significantly strengthen the combat capabilities of Syrian air defense.
As Shoigu reminded, in 2013, at the request of the Israeli side, Russia suspended the supply to Syria of such complexes. Although the combat vehicles have already been prepared for dispatch. “Today the situation has changed. And not through our fault, “the minister stressed.
The second item concerns the equipping of command posts of Syrian formations and military air defense units with the most automated control systems, which are supplied only to the Russian Armed Forces. This will ensure the centralized management of all Syrian air defense forces and facilities, monitoring of the air situation and prompt delivery of target designations. “The main thing is that the identification of all Russian aircraft by the Syrian air defense means will be guaranteed,” Shoigu specified.
The third measure concerns the electronic suppression of satellite navigation, airborne radar and communications systems of combat aircraft attacking objects on Syrian territory in the Syrian territories adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea.
Let’s note: Israel has always been deeply against placing the S-300 in Syria. Shaul Mofaz, the former chief of the general staff of the Israeli army, explained this position not long ago: “This is an advanced system of air defense missiles, the finding of which in the Syrian hands theoretically paralyzes the whole airspace of the north of Israel. Such a missile is capable of knocking down any aircraft flying at a distance of up to 200 kilometers south of our northern border. And this means that any civil aircraft taking off from Ben-Gurion airport, can be hit by this system. It is about weapons that violate the balance of power, putting Israel in a difficult situation. The launch of such a rocket from Syria in our direction means a blow to Israeli sovereignty. ”
In short, urgently deploying the S-300 in Syria, we are going to a serious military-political aggravation with Israel.
Let’s notice, all last days from the moment of tragedy in the sky over Latakia, the situation dynamically changed. September 23, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation put a dot over the “i” in the situation with the IL-20M. At a special briefing, the representative of the agency, General Igor Konashenkov, completely and finally laid the blame for the incident at the Israeli Air Force. Those who sent to the targets in Syria F-16 fighters, according to Russian experts, did not warn our command about strikes in advance. And the F-16 pilots deliberately “covered” the Russian Il-20M, “substituting” it for shelling Syrian air defense systems.
The Ministry of Defense of Israel did not accept the claims of their Russian colleagues, saying that the F-16 did not hide behind Il. The department was reminded that on September 20 the commander of the Air Force of Israel Amikam Norkin arrived in Moscow, who presented a “detailed and professional” analysis of the situation. The Israelis insist that the entire responsibility lies with the Syrian regime, and also with Iran and the Shiite movement Hezbollah. Whose military object, according to the version of Tel Aviv, was attacked.
For his part, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman assured that in future, Tel Aviv will not refuse any further strikes against Syria. “We acted, and we will act. Nothing has changed and will not change, “Lieberman said on September 23 on the air of the transfer of the radio station” KAN-Reshet Bet “. According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, a sharp Russian reaction suggests that Moscow was waiting for the right occasion to force Tel Aviv to move to diplomatic defense and begin to adhere to a more rigorous framework in the course of its operations. The problem is only that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed not to give Iran a moment of peace as long as he participates in military operations in Syria. A year later elections are scheduled in Israel. And Netanyahu is completely unable to spoil the image of the “inflexible defender of the country.”
This creates the prerequisites for a serious conflict between Moscow and Tel Aviv. How will the situation around Syria develop now? Russia has finally taken real measures to contain Israel, “said Mikhail Alexandrov, a leading expert at the Center for Military and Political Studies of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Tel Aviv’s actions lead to further escalation of the conflict between Syria and Israel, and already threaten the lives of Russian servicemen. The C-300 will limit Israel’s ability to inflict further strikes. If we intend to stay in Syria, complete the operation to destroy the terrorists, and achieve the stabilization of the Syrian state – the outrage of Israel in Syria must be stopped. Israel previously promised that in the case of the S-300 delivery to Syria, in the port or at the airport, at the time of unloading. Tel Aviv is capable of such a step? I would not rule it out. Formally, the complex will be Syrian. So – the Israelis can try to strike at him. You have to be ready for this. There, where we deliver the S-300 for the Syrians, the echeloned air defense system must be built in advance. I think it makes sense to bring to Syria several false S-300 complexes, on enemy radar simulating the operation of a real SAM. These complexes, in addition, must constantly change positions. Plus – should be covered with a short-range air defense system. Either Tankzhetyn, or Israel, and downed Il-20, Israel and the downed IL-20 from the US on some prospects for the war in Syria,
How serious is a threat created by the S-300 for Israel? The risks for Tel Aviv in the case of deployment of the S-300 in Syria are significantly increasing. The complex can be located just in the interior of the country, so that Israeli air missiles can not get it without calling in the airspace of Syria itself. And as soon as the Air Force planes of Israel will enter this space, they will be shelled. And here Israel will have to weigh its response moves well. Should I continue to attack Syria, where would it suit? Or diminish the ardor, and seek a political solution to the situation? What could be the solution? If Israel is worried about Iran’s presence on Syrian territory, one should talk to Russia. Moscow has already gone to meet the Israelis: as reported by Konashenkov, the Iranian formations were taken from the Israeli border. In particular – their long-range systems of volley fire and artillery. Nevertheless, Israel continues the bomb attacks on the Syrian territory. Now Tel Aviv has a choice: run into trouble, or build a dialogue. And with us, and even with the government of Syria. What’s wrong with that? Israel is a state without complexes. It can with anyone enter into negotiations. Let’s say Damascus if it wants to reduce the Iranian military presence – Tel Aviv in return makes concessions to it. For example, the recognition of the regime of Bashar Assad. Israeli diplomacy now, I believe, should show more flexibility. The unipolar world is over, and it’s time for Israel to part with the illusion that under the cover of the United States, it can do anything. Since the line on frontal confrontation is counterproductive for Tel Aviv. “The position of the Defense Ministry is absolutely legitimate from the point of view of international law,” said Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, an academician of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, former head of the Main Department for International Military Cooperation of the Russian Defense Ministry. – Let me remind you that Article 51 of the UN Charter speaks about the right of nations and states to individual and collective defense. The Syrian Arab Republic has just invited us to carry out the collective defense of the Syrian air, land and sea space. And we agreed to this. Unfortunately, at certain moments, under the influence of Tel Aviv and Washington, Moscow, as a matter of fact, blurred its obligations to the Syrians. I must replace that our agreements with the US and Israel to prevent incidents in the sky of Syria actually legitimized the invasion of foreign combat aircraft into Syrian airspace. In addition, we also observe the ground presence in Syria of representatives of the armies of some Western countries. This violates the sovereignty of Syria. And now, unfortunately, we have resigned to this. But now, after the tragedy with the IL-20M, we finally took a clear position: henceforth Russia really protects the sovereignty of the SAR and its territorial integrity. We must understand: the delivery of the S-300 complex to Syria, automated control systems and EW systems is our legal right, unrestricted in international acts. Therefore, Israel can make as much noise as possible, that this, they say, threatens its security. The situation is simple: do not commit acts of aggression, do not invade Syria’s airspace! I believe that EW funds will be used by Russian military specialists, automated control systems for air defense systems Auger will be for us. And the complexes S-300, transferred to Damascus, will be controlled by Syrian calculations. As a result, a reliable security zone will be created in the airspace of Syria of a collective type. And the first Israeli planes that will appear in this zone must be destroyed. Israel behaves as a state that is not controlled by any international norms and rules. It destroys any objects on Syrian territory, which allegedly could pose a threat to Israeli security. But it is capable of pushing other countries to actions in the same logic. If some objects in the territory of Israel pose a threat to its neighbors, these neighbors can destroy them. Including – Russia, which operates in the region. There is no need to be afraid of such a scenario. It was connivance and constant concessions to Israel that led to unceremonious strikes. Not only on Syrian targets, but also – by provocation – on the Russian military.