May 21, 2013 idrw.org (source FG)
Israel may act to stop any attempt to transfer Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles from Syria to Lebanon. Such a scenario is possible if the Assad regime in Syria feels it is losing control of the country in a future phase of its civil war.
According to reliable sources, at least one shipment of Russian-made S-300 missiles has been transferred to Syria.
Israeli sources say this act is a “game-changer” – especially as Syria is the middle of a bloody civil war.
Israeli sources said the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) may have to act on “developing” circumstances in Syria. The S-300 missiles would pose an immediate threat to Israeli air force (IAF) aircraft flying in the area.
The sources confirm that at present there are two possible scenarios – an attempt to hit an IAF aircraft flying over Lebanon, and the transfer of some of the S-300s to the Hezbollah terror organisation in Lebanon.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on 16 May that his country plans to go ahead with its shipment of S-300 missiles to Syria.
He added that the deal had been sealed before recent air strikes on Syria reportedly carried out by Israel.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Moscow last week to urge Russian president Vladimir Putin not to sell the state-of-the-art anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
However, the long effort that culminated in the meeting of the two leaders failed.? The missile – one of the most advanced types used by the Russian army – can neutralise aircraft at a long distance with high precision, thanks to a sophisticated radar system combined with special sensors on the missile itself.
The S-300 missile, according to experts, is capable of overcoming part of the defence systems installed at present on board the IAF’s aircraft.
The system can simultaneously handle several targets, and launch missiles according to the perceived level of threat from each target.
The S-300 missile is 7 metres long and weighs 1.5t. It’s armed with a warhead weighing more than 70kg. The missile is effective at ranges up to 150km, at an altitude of up to 30km.
Foreign sources say the IAF is familiar with the capabilities of the S-300 – this after Israeli pilots flew simulated missions against batteries of the type, that are in use by some unidentified country.
One thing is clear – In addition to an unprecedented effort to get real-time intelligence about Syria’s chemical weapons, now Israeli sensors are pointing at the S-300s already in the country.