According to Israel, the complex produced in Russia belonged to the Syrian army, but the British Daily Mail claims that it belonged to Iran.
In April, the media reported with reference to a source in the Russian Defense Ministry that Moscow in recent years has supplied Damascus with up to 40 “Pantsir-C1” missile systems. The complex is intended for close cover of military and civilian objects from all means of air attack, including the newest ones.
Military analysts do not exclude, “Pantsir-C1” could be destroyed during the change of ammunition. In the video you can see how one of the servicemen at the moment of impact only tries to take a place in the cockpit. In addition, according to military expert Konstantin Makienko, Spike is an anti-tank missile launched from ground-based systems, and Pantsir is optimized for air targets.
Nevertheless, the loss of “Shell” can be a blow to the prestige of Russian air defense, because the military claimed that the result of the application in Syria shows that the complex was improved and its reliability increased by at least 15%. Western media have already started talking about “reputational losses” of Russian weapons.
In the Russian Defense Ministry they have not yet commented on the loss of “Pantsir-S1.” However, it seems that the attack of Israel has already brought its results, and they are in the refusal of Moscow from the delivery of the S-300 to Syria.
Recall that on April 23, sources in the military and diplomatic circles reported that the issue of the transfer, perhaps even free of charge, of the Syrian army of the S-300 “Favorit” SAM was practically resolved. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that after a missile strike by the United States, France and Britain on Syria on April 14, Moscow no longer has moral obligations preventing the supply of such weapons to Damascus.
On April 25, Syrian Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad said that Russian S-300 air defense systems were delivered to Damascus “a month ago and are already working”. However, later Russian military-diplomatic sources denied this information, saying that the S-300 system does not have Syrian government troops. ”
May 11, after the publication of the video of the raid on “Pantsir-S1”, the Izvestia published an interview with Vladimir Putin, an aide to the Russian President Vladimir Putin on military-technical cooperation. Answering the question about the transfer of Syria to the S-300 system, Kozhin said that “so far no deliveries of modern systems are out of the question”. Now in the arsenal of the Syrian army there are complexes of anti-aircraft defense still in the Soviet period, and the most modern type of air defense is the anti-aircraft missile and gun systems “Pantsir”.
Of course, it is possible that the decision to cancel Syrian S-300 supplies was made after the meeting of Vladimir Putin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 9 after the Victory Day parade. However, on the part of Tel Aviv’s raid on Syria immediately after the meeting it looks like a demonstrative action, and the statement that there will not be any deliveries of the S-300 strangely coincided with the destruction of the “Pantsir-S1”.
Is the refusal to supply Syria S-300 connected with the Israeli attack and the destruction of the S-300? This probably is too much a stretch. The “Pantsir” and the S-300 are completely different systems. The S-300 “Favorit” SAM is designed to destroy various aeroballistic targets, cruise missiles at a distance of 150 kilometers. “Pantsir” operates at a distance of 15-20 kilometers. Comparing them is meaningless.
“Pantsir” can complement the S-300, as today, “Pantsir-S1” complements the S-400 air defense system to protect Moscow’s sky. As the military say, this complex is designed for the firing of those missiles or debris that did not shoot down the S-300 or S-400.
Why after the initial reports it was decided not to deliver?
As for the supplies of the Syrian S-300, when the chief of the main operational department, Rutskoi, said that we can return to this issue, this was the opinion of the general. But neither Rutskoi nor the Ministry of Defense sell weapons. I think it was an emotional statement, connected with the fact that Americans, British and French showed aggression against Syria.
But finally the issue of supplies is decided by the president. Refusal to transfer the S-300, I would associate with the fact that in Moscow on May 9 the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came. It is possible that he once again asked Russia not to supply Syrian S-300 complexes, since this could lead to an aggravation of the situation and the outbreak of a new war in the Middle East – between Syria, Iran and Israel.
In order not to pour gasoline into the fire Kremlin decided not to supply Syria with S-300. That some do not have a sense of their invulnerability, and others – the desire to necessarily strike on this complex, so that he could not shoot down Israeli aircraft. There are a lot of subtleties about which we must speak, so it is not right not simplify the situation.
Meanwhile Trump donated Iran to Iran on May 9. Paradoxically, the US rejection of a nuclear deal is more profitable for the Russian Federation.
The question is different. Israel, as an ally of the United States, is trying to cover up its actions with Trump’s not very effective policy in the Iranian direction. The US president announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but at the same time he made it clear that he was ready to sign a new agreement.
But on this front there was a rearrangement of forces. In the Iranian issue, Russia, Europe and China found themselves on one side of the barricades, and the US, Israel and some of their Arab allies on the other. Trump made a big mistake, announcing the withdrawal from the deal, he is in isolation.
All signs indicate that the United States is losing influence in the Middle East. The danger of this situation is that they can go on provocation of a local type. Clearly, they themselves will not fight. They got used to fighting with strangers. Therefore, it is possible to wait for new air and missile strikes on the territory of Syria from their allies.