Russia releases footage of airstrikes in Syria.
(photo credit: screenshot)
Russian President Vladimir Putin stationed an air-defense missile system in Syria that is capable of striking aircraft as far away as Tel Aviv, according to a report published on Friday.
The S-400 air-defense system has been deployed at the Latakia airbase on the Syrian coast, according to the British Daily Mail newspaper.
The Russian-developed advanced missile system is an upgrade of the S-300 anti-aircraft system, which according to reports Moscow has recently agreed to sell to Tehran.
The S-400 missiles can reach a range of 400 km. and strike aircraft at 90,000 feet. From Latakia, the missiles could reach much of Israel, as well as the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and southern Turkey.
Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war has stepped up in recent weeks, with Moscow leading air strikes in Syria to support the regime of ally President Bashar Assad.
From Israel’s perspective, there are two emerging consequences of Russia’s aerial intervention in Syria.
The first is that Russia’s allies on the ground in Syria, who happen to be Israel’s bitter enemies, will now expand their troublesome presence near the Israeli border.
Specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, its transnational terrorist unit the Quds Force, Hezbollah forces and Assad military units are all benefiting from Russia’s air war in Syria, and their enhanced presence on Israel’s border will soon be a fact on the ground.
The second consequence of Russia’s operations in Syria is that it complicates Israel’s own extensive intelligence efforts and, according to international reports, covert strike sorties over Syria.
Russian jets are now flying in Syria’s deep south, in Deraa, dropping munitions, and putting the Israel Air Force on the highest alert, despite the deconfliction mechanism created by the IDF and Russian Armed Forces in recent weeks.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.