November 25, 2011
This is according to Syrian and Russian sources cited by the London-based Arabic Al Quds-Al Arabi which said that Moscow is seeing a Western attack on Syria as a “red line” which it will not tolerate in any way.
In addition to the S-300 missiles, the report states that Russia is also installing advanced radar systems in all of the critical Syrian industrial and military installations.
Arutz Sheva reports that the S-300 system is regarded as one of the most powerful anti-aircraft missiles systems available.
They also point out that the radar system is capable of tracking 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 separate targets.
Deployment of the S-300 takes a mere five minutes and have a long life span with no maintenance required.
The system will provide coverage of areas both north and south of Syria which would be able to detect troop or aircraft movements towards Syrian borders.
The long-rage surface-to-air missiles were developed by Russia in 1960s-1970s in order to protect industrial and military bases from aircraft attacks and cruise missiles.
This S-300 system will reportedly be used to “deflect a possible attack by NATO or the U.S. and EU,” although the possibility of an Arab League-sponsored attack is considerable if recent reports are to be believed.
This system can reportedly target much of Israel and the Turkish Incirlik military base which is utilized by NATO, which would likely be leveraged if a no-fly zone operation was conducted.
The report claims that Russia was planning to sell the S-300 system to Iran but backed down after American and Israeli pressure.
However, the report also claims that Iran paid for the system for Syria and Arutz Sheva alleges, “It is not known if some of the missiles have reached Iran as well,” although that statement should obviously be taken with a large grain of salt.
The stakes have been raised considerably as of late with the U.S. Embassy in Damascus urging all American citizens to “immediately” leave Syria and the Turkish ministry telling Turkish pilgrims to avoid traveling through Syria altogether.
Furthermore, the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that “humanitarian corridors or humanitarian zones” could be established in order to protect those supposedly under attack, according to the Financial Times.
Juppe said that the issue would be further discussed by Foreign Ministers of European Union member nations when they meet next month, although it appears that preparations for such an operation are already being made.
Juppe claimed that full-scale military intervention was not on the table although his other statements indicate otherwise.
“In response to a demand from the Syrian national council, we will examine, notably with our EU partners, the possibility of launching humanitarian initiatives to alleviate the considerable suffering of the (Syrian) population,” Juppe said.
Of course, as we have seen in Libya, any “humanitarian initiatives” that establish “humanitarian corridors or humanitarian zones” indeed require a full-scale military intervention that will undoubtedly leave countless civilians dead.
Even more importantly, any intervention whatsoever will spark the ire of the Russians and Iranians, likely causing a much larger conflict.
If Iran attempts to help Assad defend himself against a foreign invasion, Israel would no longer need the smoking gun justification to launch an all-out assault on Iran and the United States would likely follow.
This is truly a hellish scenario, given that Russia would come to the side of Syria and Iran, likely drawing in China, which has been goaded recently by the United States in the South China Sea dispute.