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Thursday, February 22, 2018

The attack by Israel on Syria: Russia is facing a new military scenario


Sharp aggravation of the situation on the Syrian-Israeli border and rocket attacks the Israeli air force on targets in Syria, the Syrian air defense downed an Israeli F-16 — all this has caused not only the response of politicians, but once again reminded of the possibilities of those weapons, which confront each other in this region. Looks like here the balance of power and what consequences may result from their confrontation, understood the “MK”.

F-16 fighter jets of the Israeli air force.

Fever started last Saturday, when the Israelis announced that they had intercepted over the Golan heights, the Iranian drone (UAV), invaded from Syria, after which their planes, they attacked the Iranian point of control of the UAV, located on Syrian territory.

In response, the Syrian air defenses opened fire on violators of its airspace by shooting down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, two pilots who managed to eject.

Later, Israeli aircraft carried out another air RAID, which lasted 4 hours, attacking 12 military targets in Syria, including three batteries of air defense and four Iranian facility. Then the chief of staff of the Israeli air force Sergeant Tomer Bar said that Saturday’s operation by the Israeli air force was a complete success, though, and has become the biggest confrontation with the forces of air defense of Syria since 1982. The Syrian side also announced that they successfully repelled the attack of the Israeli air force, which, by the way, immediately closed its air space.

Military passions run wild so that the situation was forced to intervene, Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Saturday’s conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu further development of the conflict have been suspended.

During the conversation, the leaders agreed to continue coordination between the military of the two countries, continuing the line of 2015, when at the initiative of Putin and Netanyahu established a special coordination center for the exchange of information between Russia and Israel, designed to protect our military from the uncoordinated actions of each other.

However, in Syria there are troops and a number of other countries, each of which has its interests there. The result is a situation where Iran considers itself entitled to put on the positions of militants LIH (banned in Russia organization. — “MK”) in Syria ballistic missiles, Israel on its territory bombed Iranian military targets and US, without any sort of international mandate, the SDF supports so — called “Syrian democratic forces,” striking Syrian Pro-government groups.

This periodically leads to exacerbations, which happened last Saturday, and may be the reason for the proliferation of a new major military conflict, which in this region, except the United States, in General, is not beneficial to anyone.

Reasons for this a lot. In particular, last March, four Israeli aircraft struck Syrian government troops near Palmyra, explaining the violation of Syrian airspace by the need to prevent the transfer of arms to Hezbollah. Syrian air defense forces then broke out to return fire, although not a single Israeli plane was not shot down. But the Israeli defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is still a promise: if ever again in his aircraft to be fired, he will completely destroy the entire air defense system of Syria.

On Saturday the firing continued for 4 hours. Was even shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter. What now? Syrian air defenses will be destroyed? What generally it is and able to withstand avianation your neighbor?

* * *

To reflect Saturday’s Israeli airstrike, the Syrians had to use almost all their home country’s forces and air defenses. In the sky, according to the military, was raised even the old Soviet MiG-25. They are based at the airbase Ties, just near the place where was attacked by the Israeli air force. Those “MiGs”, made in the 70-ies of the last century, in 90’s still quite brisk flew along the border with Israel, preventing the violation of its airspace. Now in the Syrian air force they have no more than 30 pieces, many of which fly can not.

However, their F-16, according to the Israelis, was shot down not with the air of an old “Flash”, and from the ground. Though, most likely, the same old missile system s-125 or s-200 “VEGA-e”.


The air defense systems s-125 which was probably shot down by Israeli fighter.

This Soviet s-200 can hit targets flying at ranges of 240 km and a maximum altitude of 40 km (which is the Ukrainian air defense on 4 October 2001 during a training exercise was hit by a civilian Tu-154 flying from tel Aviv to Novosibirsk). However, the aircraft at altitudes less than 300 m-200 almost never sees. In addition, he is not able to work in conditions of modern air combat, when actively used electronic warfare. It is also not too reliable in use against such a small maneuverable fighters like the F-15 and F-16, as it was created to destroy large targets — strategic bombers and aircraft of distant radar detection.

Say that, theoretically, in service with the Syrian air defense are still the same old Soviet complexes as s-75 and s-125, a few years ago upgraded to the level of “Pechora-2M”, as well as 2К12Е “Square”. But this is “theoretically”, as most of them without the necessary parts that no longer produces and has long been out of order.

As for the newer air defense systems in 2011, Syria has bought from Russia 36 “Pantsir-S1” and SAM “Buk-M2E”. Unlike the old systems, they have high mobility and rate of fire. The Buk can simultaneously operate on several targets at ranges up to 45 km and altitudes from 15 meters to 25 km, and can simultaneously detect and capture up to 24 air targets, firing while 6 is the most dangerous.

Zrpk “Carapace-C1” strikes means of air attack at a distance of 20 km and altitudes from 15 metres to 15 km can guide the rocket to fire at the same time for 4 targets with a speed of 1300 meters per second.

However, as acknowledged by experts, such modern systems to the Syrian air defense is clearly not enough, so to completely shut down Israeli planes from the sky, they can not. Syrian air defenses able to cover only the most important sites, mainly in the Damascus area, well, if you’re lucky, for the authority to shoot down a few Israeli fighters.

* * *

But the Israeli air force is equipped with much better. Today they fly mostly American aircraft of the 4th generation, armed with almost 300 light F-16 fighters, of which about a hundred is a very successful Israeli version of the F-16I, and more than 80 heavy F-15, 25 — impact modification of the F-15EStrikeEagle.

In addition, the Israelis have the American anti-radar missiles AGM-78 Standard-ARM and newer — AGM-88 HARM, who see the rays of the radar stations of the enemy, flying at them and hit the target at ranges over 100 km.

To resist the arms of the Israelis, the Syrian air defense is very difficult. That is why Syria has long wanted to buy from Russia her famous s-300. In 2010 between Moscow and Damascus was even signed an agreement to acquire four batteries of s-300 for $900 million. However, against this transaction, actively spoke of Israel, it is reasonable to assume that it will radically change the situation in the Syrian sky in favor of Damascus.

With Israel Moscow to quarrel did not want, and the deal was hanging in the air. Some experts argued that it terminated, other — deferred, and still others still believe that it will be held. And if anyone of the senior officials trying to talk out loud about the fact that the defense is a defensive weapon, and therefore its sale may not be any restrictions (such as occurred recently when the head of the Corporation “rostec” Sergey Chemezov in an interview with The Washington Post said s-400 bears defensive function, and therefore can be sold not only Turkey, but even the US), the theme of deliveries of Russian defense systems to Syria and Iran begins to emerge and to be discussed with renewed vigor.

* * *

However, sale-purchase in this confrontation is still not the most important thing. Worse, Israel actually openly started a war in Syria against Iran, which, according to some experts, it creates its military infrastructure to support the movement “Hezbollah”.

The Israelis have long tried to keep a pause, apparently believing that if the Assad regime falls, it will create the conditions for breaking ties between Hezbollah and Iran. But now the situation has changed, and tel Aviv was forced to change tactics. He decides to do, trying to inflict maximum damage strikes Hezbollah in Syria.

However, strengthened the government in Damascus did not want to accept the fact that it violated Syrian airspace. Bashar al-Assad has already stated that it is the sovereign right of his country to defend its borders and that Israel’s claim when deciding to navigate it will not.

And to whom he then plans to navigate? What, for example, will happen if Damascus and Tehran agree and will combine their military efforts against tel Aviv? And most importantly: how to operate Russia?

I would not like, that with such a turn of events deployed to protect our bases of Russian aircraft — su-30CM and su-35S, SAM long-range s-400 and s-300V4 was used to “pacify” the Israeli air force.

While such a scenario is even impossible to imagine — it seems that Moscow and tel Aviv will not go on confrontation, given their close interaction not only in Syria. However, in politics a lot happens at first it is hard to imagine. For example, who a few years ago would have thought that our relations with Ukraine will reach almost to the state of war?

But it happens sometimes… Especially when there is a third party interested in is to push the other two, dropping developments in the right direction for himself. And in Ukraine, and Syria this third party was the same, to the United States. Realizing this, we in the current Syrian situation simply have to act, not to repeat their past mistakes.

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