This is the first time Israel has documented Syrian air defenses using S-300 missiles to intercept this country’s airplanes.
Syrian air defense troops are believed to have shot at least one S-300 surface-to-air missile against the Israeli Air Force’s F-16 fighter, during a new round of air strikes against the Israeli Air Force on purported Iranian military sites inside Syria.
This is the first documented instance of Syria utilizing S-300 missiles to intercept Israeli aircraft since Russia gave these long-range air defense systems to the Syrian army in 2018.
Syria’s S-300 launched its first attack.
On May 13, Syrian S-300 missiles targeted Israeli aircraft when they were targeting sites near Masyaf, northwestern Syria, according to Channel 13. According to Israeli media, Russia may have given Syria’s air defenses the “green light” to intercept aerial threats. In addition, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria said that on the same day, Israeli F-16 fighter jets fired at least 22 missiles against a Syrian scientific research center in Masyaf and the port of Baniyas. 13/5.
The Israel Defense Forces have yet to comment on their airstrikes in Syria, as is customary.
It is unknown if the S-300 system is operated by Russian or Syrian officers, but its transformation to combat status suggests a shift in Moscow’s ability to prevent Israeli air strikes within Syrian territory.
Although Russia provides S-300 systems to Syria, it is they who operate this armament complex; the employment of S-300 to intercept Israeli aircraft is entirely up to Russian commanders. decision. Even in the most critical situations, neither Russian or Syrian S-300 or S-400 system has ever targeted Israeli aircraft.
Since 2015, Russia and Israel have had a coordinated communication system about Tel Aviv’s military activities on Syrian soil. The Israeli Defense Forces will provide Russia with advance notice of the airstrikes; otherwise, Russian forces must not intercept the missile and destroy Israeli aircraft. For the time being, it appears that this mechanism is no longer functional.
After the airstrike, the country’s F-16 aircraft group returned to base safely, and the Syrian S-300 missiles did not represent a direct threat because no radar locked the target onto the machine. Fly to Israel. As a result, it is unclear whether the S-300 missile launched into the air on May 13 was simply a warning by Russia-Syria or whether the famous Israeli electronic suppression system was effective.
The abrupt fire of the Syrian S-300 missile after years of “quiet” occurred at the same time as the Tel Aviv government shifted its attitude on the Ukrainian crisis. After a lengthy delay, Israel has began supplying ground weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks.
Last month, Israeli officials are believed to have attended a US-organized symposium on military aid to Ukraine at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The S-300’s official entry into the Syrian war is most likely Russia’s response to Israel’s support for Ukraine.
The S-300’s threat in the Mediterranean
After the incident in which Syrian air defense forces inadvertently shot down one of the Il-Spy drones, Russia first indicated in 2018 that it would deliver an undetermined number of S-300 systems to the Syrian army. The timing of Russia’s -20 “Coot” coincides with Israel’s airstrikes on various Iranian military targets near the Mediterranean coast.
According to the Russian side, Israel purposefully set up a trap for Syrian air defenses in the Il-20 incident, resulting in the Russian spy plane being shot down by mistake.
According to Russian Ministry of Defense comments at the time, the S-300 system delivered to Syria had a range of more than 200 kilometers, which was similar to the S-300PMU-2 version employing 48N6E3 missiles, Russia’s most modern export S-300.