It seems that the first S-300 missiles promised by Moscow and the S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems immediately provoked by Israel’s strongest concern have already been delivered to the site of the anticipated starting positions, in spite of Washington’s warnings. So – the sharpest geopolitical crisis around the death of our reconnaissance aircraft Il-20 is rapidly gaining momentum over the Mediterranean Sea.
In any case, anonymous reports appeared on the Internet: on September 27, seven Russian military transport planes Il-76 and AN-124 Ruslan heavyweight aircraft landed at the airbase of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Khmeimim in the province of Latakia. And since the Israelis have repeatedly said that if necessary – by force of arms they will not allow the transfer of the S-300 from Russia to Syria, from September 25 the sky over Khemeymim is continuously patrolled by our Su-30SM, Su-35 fighters, hastily transferred to Russia from Russia, a new plane Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft and a long-range radar patrol and target designation aircraft A-50U.
It became known that our military intends to preserve such unprecedented security measures in Syria, at least until October 5. When, logically, the installation of new anti-aircraft missile systems on the starting positions in Syria will be completed. And they will be able to immediately open fire for any targets in the air. First of all – on Israeli aircraft and missiles, if new raids on the neighboring country Tel Aviv will try to organize.
Thus, just a few days ago Damascus will become the owner of the most powerful and most modern in the Middle East air defense system. For a long time there are all grounds for this: the territory of the SAR has been bombed by the interventionists for years – Americans, Israelis, French, British, Australians. They, without any problems, inflict unpunished blows from the air when they thought it necessary. The obsolete S-200, which the Syrian Arab Army still uses, copes with modern missiles and aircraft not in full measure.
The S-300, with which Moscow arms Syria, will change the balance of power. The Israelis made a special contribution to this rearmament. Their provocation, which led to the death of Il-20 and 15 Russian military personnel on board, forced Moscow to reactivate the previously frozen project of S-300 deliveries to the UAR. Now it is the Israelis who feel the greatest threat. Moreover, this is taking place against the backdrop of a palpable political cooling of their relations with the Russian Federation. There is even information that Russian President Putin denied Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu an emergency meeting. At which he wanted to dissuade the Russian leader from handing over the S-300 to Asad. Now Netanyahu is looking for other ways to turn the tide.
So, the other day Benjamin Netanyahu met with Donald Trump. At the end of this meeting, he said that the Russian Il-20 plane, shot down by Syrians, had discussed with the US president. Later, the Israeli media found out that their prime minister had secured “guarantees of freedom for Israeli operations in Syria” from Trump. The Israeli leader himself put it this way: “I got what I asked for.”
What are the American guarantees? Of course, now Netanyahu is deeply concerned about the new direction of Russian military activity in the UAR. In addition to the mentioned S-300, in Syria, the Russian S-400 air defense system, located on the basis of Khemeymim, has been idle for a long time. Probably, fearing escalation of the conflict in western Syria, our military did not dare yet actively use them in repelling other people’s air raids. Now we have all the reasons for this.
For Israel, whose combat aviation is operating, mainly in the western part of the Arab Republic, it is the S-400 that can be the greatest threat. But Tel Aviv has certain possibilities to counteract the systems of the S-300 received by Syria.
In fact, the IDF has long been prudently engaged in testing the mechanisms for combating these complexes. The opportunities for Israel for this are extensive. Very opportunely since the mid-2000s, warming began in Israeli-Cypriot relations. And since that time, active military cooperation has been observed between these countries. Cypriots, if you have not forgotten, have protected their skies for two decades with Russian S-300s. Purchased those complexes they had from Russia back in 1998. That in its time caused a great stir in NATO and was the first breakthrough of our defense industry in the West European market.
Now the Israelis are using this circumstance with their might. In the past five years alone, at least three large-scale exercises have been conducted with the development of a breakthrough in the Cyprus air defense system, based on the S-300, Israeli F-16. In practice, tactical methods of effective
However, the exercises are exercises, and real combat actions are quite another. And, as it is to be presumed, today Syria does not get all the modifications of the S-300 that the Cypriots got. Therefore, the IDF can still expect unpleasant surprises. So, to rely solely on the experience of its pilots in this case, Tel Aviv is afraid. Otherwise, I would not ask for Washington’s protection. So what can Americans give Israel to counter Russian-Syrian allies? Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov believes that after the incident with our aircraft, Israel faced serious obstacles in the possibility of carrying out strikes in the UAR. Earlier, the IDF used mainly three directions for attacks on Syrian targets – Jordan, from the Mediterranean Sea and from the Lebanese Beka valley. Naturally, the Russian military will take this into account when deploying air defense systems in the ATS. So now Tel Aviv will have to completely change its approach to military operations in the neighboring state. Or simply reject them. The latter, the expert believes, is hardly possible. Hence, through the Americans, the Israelis expect to achieve superiority over Russian systems. Probably one of the first points in the implementation of this plan will be an accelerated program of deliveries to Israel of US fighters of the fifth generation F-35. IDF and so it receives, but too little and slowly – now in Israel, less than a dozen of these aircraft. While under the plan, the States undertake to provide him with fifty-five F-35s. It is probable that the leadership of the Jewish state will try to get from Trump a sharp reduction in the delivery time of the F-35. According to the Americans, the F-35 for S-300 systems is almost invisible. But the expert believes that you can seriously argue with this. Even States can give their ally Boeing EA-18 Growler. These are planes of electronic warfare. At present, they are only used by Americans and Australians. There are no special data on the capabilities of the Israeli EW units in the Air Force. But, apparently, they also need an update from now on. “The Groulers” in this regard will be very welcome. Also, Tel Aviv can request from the US anti-missile systems “Patriot”, which together with F-16 or more advanced fighters and AWACS (aviation radio detection and guidance systems) can form a single the system of struggle in the air.
Turkish military expert Keram Yildirim believes the USA military is unlikely to be currently active in Syria. Instead, they can use other mechanisms with Israel: – At the UN, Netanyahu once again spoke about the Iranian problem. He even demonstrated a photo of a secret “nuclear facility” where a centurion of kilograms of nuclear materials was allegedly stored. And he argued that the Iranian nuclear program is the main threat to Israel. Because of the crisis with Russia, Netanyahu, along with Trump, will try to create the maximum number of political reasons for diverting Putin from what is happening in Syria. If Iran starts to have problems, Russia will have to react. It is its ally. It is still possible to allow an attempt to derail the diplomatic settlement in Idlib. What Russia and Turkey have done does not like the United States, Israel does not like it. Earlier, Israel had almost no relation to this matter, but now the instability in Idlib will be useful to him. If it comes to fighting, this will somehow affect the whole north-west of Syria, recently Israeli planes fly here. In conditions of instability, the construction of effective air defense is a very difficult task. But if Tel Aviv misses the moment, even intensive American military assistance will not help Netanyahu. Therefore, he is likely to act quickly. And at this time, the Russian military demanded from the army of the defense of Israel to limit its flights in the area of the bases of Khmeimim and Tartus. First of all, this concerns the coastal zones, the “Interfax-AVN” agency reports with reference to the Israeli media.