Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to warn that should Russia deliver the system to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the S-300 ”is likely to draw us into a response and could send the region deteriorating into war”.
Israel’s Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, and Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz have said Israel would not hesitate to destroy the S-300 system rather than see it in Syrian hands.
Most sources on the system say it is designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles within 150 kilometres. But Israeli defence officials insist the actual range is 200 kilometres. Given Israel’s small airspace, the longer range would place most aircraft within range.
Tag Archives: Missiles
Even more serious, say the experts, is that Syria is liable to decide to transfer these modern missiles to Hezbollah, or even give a sample of them to its partner, Iran, whose scientists are eager to decipher Russian technologies. Intelligence officials and air force commanders will pressure the ministers to attack quickly and thus exploit this opportunity. The information, they’ll say, is temporary and fluid: If we don’t take action now, there’s no way of knowing where Hezbollah will hide these missiles in Lebanon later on. It’s important to prevent a change in the military equation in the north with weapons that “break the balance of power.”
All these are certainly threats that cannot be dismissed. But if the ministers approve such a move, Israel could be a step away from war with both Syria and Hezbollah, even though its rivals have even less of an interest in such a military confrontation than Israel does.
This scenario is not totally divorced from reality. According to foreign media reports, this is more or less what preceded the second air strike (of the three this year) attributed to Israel, which took place in late April.
From here one can assess with a great degree of certainty that there will be additional attempts to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in the coming months.
That’s the background to the long series of Israeli warnings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and his predecessor Ehud Barak that Israel will act to foil the smuggling of quality weapons into Lebanon.
If Israel attacks Syria again then I think we are looking at major retaliation coming from Syria and Hezbollah. I think Syria will decide when this scenario happens as it attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah.
There is an excellent possibility of war happening at any time. We could see a delay of weeks or months but the credible possibility exists right now.
“If you remember the 1973 war, we started to resupply Israel. The Russians put all of their forces on alert. They were going to intervene in the Middle East, we were going to intervene in the Middle East, and this was going to spiral out of control,” Francona said.
“And this has the capability of leading to that confrontation because the Russians are backing the Syrians and if we declare a no-fly zone, they may feel that they have to intervene on behalf of the Syrians. We’re approaching a very critical time in this right now.”
The new threat stems from a cache of missiles Syria ordered from Russia years ago. They have yet to be delivered because of the ongoing civil war between forces loyal to the Syrian Ba’ath Party government and protestors trying to topple it.
PM indicated to Putin: ‘We’ll destroy your missiles if you deliver them to Assad’ | The Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted during his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel would destroy Syrian S-300 missiles before they became fully operational, Maariv cited Middle Eastern diplomats saying Friday. The reported threat underlined how firmly Israel has sought to pressure Russia to cancel the deal, apparently with some success.
According to the report, during the meeting between the heads of state earlier this month in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Netanyahu called on Putin to cancel Russia’s transfer of the sophisticated anti-aircraft system to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and indicated that, should the delivery go ahead, Israel would strike the missiles before they became operational.
The S300 anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has reportedly started sending to Syria don’t just pose a threat to Israeli or American pilots; they also pose a threat to Russians on the ground.
If Israel or the U.S. bomb the S300 weapons in Syria, there’s a good chance they “will kill a lot of Russians,” Robert Hewson, editor of IHS Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, said to the Guardian
One-year-old Angie stretches out her small hand towards the cherries and peaches on display outside a grocery shop in the village of Majdal Shams, on the slopes of the Golan Heights, while her mother explains why she is stockpiling food and has cleaned out her family’s bomb shelter.
“Anyone here who looks at the current situation knows you need to prepare, especially food for the kids. Adults can wait to eat while fighting goes on outside but if your child wants milk,” she says, pointing towards Angie, who is now howling with tears of frustration, “you’d better have milk to give them.”
Angie’s mother, who asked not to be named, has been stocking up on rice, canned food, oil and wheat for the last week. She listens to news reports of missiles from Russia and Israeli air strikes, she hears the cracks of gunfire and thuds of mortars just minutes away in Syria and feels the war coming closer.
“There is an atmosphere of fear now. Everyone is preparing for war, not just me,” she says.
Israel “will know what to do” if Russia delivers anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, its defence minister said Tuesday, in an apparent allusion to another air strike on the war-torn neighbouring country.
“The deliveries have not taken place, and I hope they do not. But if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” Moshe Yaalon said.
His comments came after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said providing the missiles to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would be a “stabilising factor” aimed at deterring any foreign intervention in Syria.
North Korea is on the verge of obtaining a ballistic missile made by China that can reach Alaska, a senior nuclear analyst told government and military officials Friday morning during a discussion about China’s nuclear prowess.
“North Korea either has or soon will have a nuclear-armed [intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)] that can reach Anchorage,” said Richard D. Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC), a national security think tank.
The missiles were “made in China [and] given to North Korea,” Fisher told attendees. “And I’m very, very sad to say our administration has said nothing publicly about this enabling of a direct threat to the U.S.”
Asked if that meant that a future U.S.-NATO anti-missile shield would be “neutralized” if a nation such as Iran launched a nuclear missile at Europe, Antonov said it would be difficult to speculate on such a scenario.
“Well, first, the Iranians do not have such missiles and when they will have them nobody will know,” he said. “And by the way, the last-minute decision by the Americans to suspend the implementation of the fourth stage suggests Washington recognizes that the Iranians in the short term have no such missiles and will not have such missiles.”
The Russian official asserted that by “electing Iran” as the enemy of Europe, “the Americans are trying to realize their missile defense plans, which, in fact, won’t defend Europe and create a problem for the Russian-American and Russian-NATO relations.”
If Iran launched a nuclear missile at Europe, then potentially Russia could neutralize the European missile defenses so the Iranian missile could not be stopped. This is really a bizarre scenario. Effectively, Russia would be joining Iran in war against Europe.
Doesn’t this really just mean that Russia considers NATO and the US an enemy?
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Ben Yisrael: ‘Iranians Are Convinced That Israel-U.S. Will Attack Iran’s Nuclear Installations, If They Start Producing Weapons-Grade Uranium’
‘Israeli Air Force Has Capability to Attack Any Target In Middle East’
IAF Commander Eshel: ‘If Russia Goes Through With Delivery of S-300 Anti-aircraft Missiles To Syria, We Will Have Many Solutions – The Question Is What Price We Will Have To Pay’