On Wednesday, the Israeli army again struck southwestern Syria. The goal this time was the strategic high ground of Tel al-Hara, from which the Golan Heights are well visible. Syrian media related to the local government reported that the damage was exclusively material – there were no civilian or military casualties. A total of six missiles were fired, some of which were successfully shot down by air defense systems. Causes of impact are not reported. Sources in Israel talk about some Iranian activity in the affected area. The version is rather weak, considering that the Persians have not been settling so close to the Israeli border for a long time.
A feature of this attack from the IDF was the active use of electronic warfare systems. This was reported by official sources in the Syrian army. SANA news agency reports that the radar systems were affected by interference, which made it difficult to repel the next attack. By itself, this fact, despite the absence of serious damage, is quite remarkable. It’s just not entirely clear why the Israelis should use advanced technologies in the fight against outdated Syrian technology? Previously, they repeatedly did without EW and were very, very successful. Apparently, in this case there are certain subtleties. Perhaps Tel Aviv used new technologies, wanting to test them in action. Given that the Jewish state is one of the leaders of the region in electronics, this option is possible. Their weapons and other equipment are constantly being upgraded, which is why there is a regular need for field trials.
There is another version – Israel tried to check how effective the newer Russian-made systems are against its EW. Russians and Israelis constantly have to intersect in western Syria, because the question of tacit competition arises by itself. Even if the parties are not plotting against each other, you still need to be prepared. Here Tel Aviv is eyeing. And then the question arises how dangerous the Israeli EW is dangerous for the Russian air defense systems.
One of our military sources, who wished to remain anonymous, believes that there is a certain threat for Russia. Of course, there is no risk that Israel, using its electronic jamming systems, will hit our targets. However, Tel Aviv can thus bypass our radar and other control systems, therefore, it will be easier for it to strike at one or another part of the RAA. The case in Dar’aa confirms this. For example, the C-400 are unique installations, and no matter what technology the Israelis do not have, they are practically powerless. However, due to the need to integrate into the Syrian air defense systems, the complexes may reveal some problems. For example, the use of common frequencies with the old Syrian air defense systems. With the S-300, the situation is even worse – the Israelis have long known the approach to them, because they have studied them many times, gaining access through third countries that purchased complexes from us.
Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov holds a slightly different opinion. For the Syrians, the expert believes, the Israeli EW complexes are very dangerous, but they are practically powerless against the fourth-generation Russian systems.
- Israel has long been using EW systems. The first time they applied them just against Syria, against the Soviet complexes of the second generation. It was in the seventies, the place of action – the Golan Heights (this is the so-called Doomsday War). This led to the complete destruction of all the Syrian air defense systems. The principle of operation was simple – EW complexes interfered with, and the air defense systems were in fact blinded, which made them completely ineffective. After that, the IDF aircraft could only strike at these useless complexes. Much time has passed since then, but Israel, as we see, still periodically uses roughly similar systems. It was during the civil war in the SAR that they had a lot of freedom. For example, Israel managed to strike deep inside Syrian territory. This would have been impossible without circumventing the air defense systems — that was, by means of EW, they were avoided.
But if you look at this confrontation historically, then it should be noted that even the C-200 complexes have a modernized version that effectively fought this problem. The warhead was significantly reworked. For example, if there were airplanes in the sky, and one of them was equipped with on-board EW systems, the rocket aimed precisely at him as the main supplier of interference. Of course, technology has now stepped forward and many principles have changed.
– As far as the Israeli EW dangerous for the Syrian and Russian air defense systems?
- To suppress the Syrian air defense systems is not difficult for them. Firstly, for the reason that Tel Aviv is one of the leaders in this field, and secondly, the Syrian air defense systems are in most cases hopelessly outdated. But for the Russian they do not represent such a threat. They do not fully understand the device, for example, the C-400. And for this reason, reconnaissance aircraft of the United States or Israel are often in the sky above the SAR and near its air borders. They are trying to pick up the keys to the C-400 and our other fourth-generation complexes. But they do not come out. These difficulties are the reason why Israel usually strikes at those areas where you will see no modern Russian complexes.