When Syrian air defenses responded to an Israeli attack last week, one of their missiles accidentally shot down a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane.
As a result, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu responded Monday by saying that his country would supply Syria with more advanced S-300 anti-air missile systems.
Israel claimed to be bombing Iranian facilities in Latakia, but instead bombed a Syrian research center. When the Israeli jets made their attack, they entered Syrian airspace illegally and maneuvered such as to use the Il-20 as cover, which was on a spy mission over the hotly contested province of Idlib.
The S-300 delivery “will have a big impact” on Israel because it will no longer be able to bomb Syria from close-by sites like Lebanon or just off the coast, where Israeli jets could be safe from limited-range Syrian anti-air fire.
“If these systems were installed in Latakia,” he said, “they have to bomb from Cyprus, or from 200 km away from Syria, and this will make things difficult for the Israelis.”
Now, the Syrians will not only be able to block Israeli air attacks, but those by the USA, France, UK or other actors as well.
“We believe Israel will start using sophisticated fighter jets, such as the F-35,” which he noted has “more capabilities” than the aging F-16s previously used by the IDF.
But what if one of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, was downed by this new air defense network? “That means a lot of customers will start questioning the validity and the importance of buying the value of buying such extremely expensive weapons.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Military News 2018.