Lebanese President Michel Aoun has asked Moscow to bring Lebanese air space under the protection of the Russian air defense system being deployed in Syria.
President Vladimir Putin has not yet replied to the request which Aoun posted through back channels. But neither has he so far turned him down. For now, it is under discussion at the highest levels of the Russian defense ministry, which tend to recommend approval.
If Putin decides to grant the Lebanese request for Russian air defense cover, Israel would face a further Russian restraint on its air force’s operations in the eastern Mediterranean, over and above the powerful Russian air defense system which is in the last stages of deployment in Syria.
This system is composed of S-300, S-400 and Pantsir-S1E air defense missiles, boosted by layers of medium- and short-range anti-air batteries and an advanced electronic warfare network.
This sophisticated edifice was designed by Moscow to provide the ultimate security against any aerial threats the US and Israeli warplanes and missiles were capable of posing from Syria’s skies.
Putin’s accession to the Lebanese request would provide Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy, for the first time with an umbrella by a world power against a potential Israeli air attack.
However, Iran has completed its current round of war material shipments to Hezbollah and was able to do so during the pause in Israel air strikes.
Russia Insider / ABC Flash Point News 2018.