Syrian S-300 missiles fired to intercept Israeli fighters for the first time

According to The Drivethe Syrian air defense forces are said to have launched at least one S-300 surface-to-air missile against the Israeli Air Force’s F-16 fighter, this move comes as Tel Aviv launches a new round of air strikes against targets. Iranian military targets inside Syria.

This is the first recorded case of Syria using S-300 missiles to intercept Israeli aircraft since these long-range air defense systems were transferred to the Syrian army by Russia in 2018.

S-300 Syria first opened fire

Channel 13 On May 16, it was reported that Syrian S-300 missiles targeted Israeli aircraft while they were hitting targets near the city of Masyaf, northwestern Syria on May 13. Israeli media also suggested that Russia may have “green light” for Syrian air defenses to intercept threats from the air.

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This is the first time Israel has recorded Syria using S-300 missiles since 2018. (Photo: The Drive)

Also about this event, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria said that Israeli F-16 fighter jets fired at least 22 missiles at a Syrian scientific research center in the city of Masyaf and the port of Baniyas on the same day. 13/5.

The Israel Defense Forces, as usual, have not yet commented on their airstrikes in Syria.

It remains unclear whether Russian or Syrian officers operate the S-300 system, but its transition to combat status indicates a shift in Moscow’s ability to prevent Israeli air strikes inside its territory. Syrian territory.

It is a fact that although Russia provides S-300 systems to Syria, it is they who operate this weapon complex, the use of S-300 to intercept Israeli aircraft is up to Russian commanders. decision. To date, no Russian or Syrian S-300 or S-400 system has ever targeted Israeli aircraft even at the most tense moments.

It is known that since 2015, Russia and Israel have established a joint communication mechanism related to Tel Aviv’s military activities on Syrian territory. The Israel Defense Forces will give Russia advance warning of the airstrikes, otherwise the Russian forces must not intercept the missile and attack the Israeli aircraft. It seems that this mechanism is no longer effective for the time being.

Also follow Channel 13, the country’s F-16 aircraft group returned to base safely after the airstrike, and the Syrian S-300 missile did not pose a direct threat as no radar locked the target on the Israeli aircraft. Therefore, it is not clear whether the S-300 missile fired into the air on May 13 was just a warning by Russia-Syria or the famous Israeli electronic suppression system worked effectively.

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The move by Syria to fire the S-300 for the first time is more or less related to Israel’s support for Ukraine. (Photo: Sputnik)

According to the experts of The Drive The sudden firing of the Syrian S-300 missile after years of “silence” took place at a time when the Tel Aviv government changed its stance on the conflict in Ukraine. Israel has begun providing some ground weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks after a long delay.

Israeli officials are said to have attended a US-organized summit related to military aid to Ukraine at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last month.

The fact that the S-300 officially entered the war in Syria is most likely Russia’s response to Israel’s support for Ukraine.

The danger of the S-300 in the Mediterranean

Russia first announced it would deliver S-300 units (unknown number) to the Syrian army in 2018, after the incident that the Syrian air defense forces accidentally shot down one of the Il-Spy drones. Russia’s -20 “Coot” coincides with the timing of Israel’s airstrikes on several Iranian military targets along the Mediterranean coast.

According to the Russian side, in the Il-20 incident, Israel deliberately set up a trap for Syrian air defenses, leading to the Russian spy plane being shot down by mistake.

Based on the statements of the Russian Ministry of Defense at that time, the S-300 system they transferred to Syria had a range of more than 200 km – equivalent to the S-300PMU-2 version using 48N6E3 missiles, the version Russia’s most advanced export S-300.

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The Syrian S-300 has long been considered a threat to the Israeli air force, even if Tel Aviv has the experience and ability to neutralize this air defense system.

The current Syrian S-300 systems are located near the capital Damascus, the above range allows it to reach the Mediterranean Sea and part of Israel. It also covers Lebanese airspace, which the Israeli air force regularly passes through before launching airstrikes inside Syria.

On the side of the Israeli Air Force, not every time they attacked Syria was favorable, there were at least two cases of Israeli aircraft being shot down or damaged when the enemy fought back. The S-300 is therefore certainly a threat to Israel in accessing Syrian airspace at any given time.

To overcome this Israel has developed tactics and technologies to neutralize Syrian air defense systems, including whether they use the S-300 or not. However, Iran’s deployment of advanced air defense systems to Syria is likely to lead to many variables.

Syria’s use of S-300 missiles, presumably under the command of Russian officers to shoot down an Israeli F-16, will certainly escalate the situation in Syria to a new level. At the same time, this is a warning for Tel Aviv, when Russia can completely make it more difficult for the Israeli Air Force to strike Syria if Moscow wants.

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