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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What can Israel do about the S-300?

One of my Twitter trolls issued a challenge today, saying that if Assad has the S-300, why isn't Israel hitting him? (Note that I do not respond to Twitter trolls with less than about 1,000 followers on Twitter - it's not worth giving them the exposure). But there are several answers to that question. One is that the fact that Assad says he has the S-300 doesn't mean he has the S-300. In fact, Israel is checking that report now.

And if anyone thinks that Israel does not have the capability of seeing what Assad is doing, maybe this report will change your mind.
Israel tracks every heavy missile fired in the Syrian civil war, keen to study Damascus's combat doctrines and deployments and ready to fend off a feared first attack on its turf, a senior Israeli military officer said on Thursday.
Colonel Zvika Haimovich of the air defence corps said southward launches against Syrian insurgents by President Bashar al-Assad's forces gave Israel mere seconds in which to determine it was not the true target - a distinction that could prove crucial for warding off an unprecedented regional conflagration.
"Syria's batteries are in a high state of operability, ready to fire at short notice. All it would take is a few degrees' change in the flight path to endanger us," he told Reuters in an interview at his base in Palmachim, south of Tel Aviv.

Long-range radars feed real-time data on the barrages to Haimovich's command bunker, where officers brace to activate Arrow II, a U.S.-backed Israeli missile shield that has yet to be tested in battle.
The more threatening launches set off sirens across Palmachim, whose warplanes also await orders to scramble.

"We are looking at all aspects, from the performance of the weaponry to the way the Syrians are using it. They have used everything that I am aware exists in their missile and rocket arsenal. They are improving all the time, and so are we, but we need to study this, and to be prepared."
He would not detail how Israel determines a missile fired in its direction will not cross the border, saying only that the process took "more than a few seconds, but not much more". 
Another Israeli expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it combined split-second analysis of the strength of the launch with up-to-date intelligence on Assad's intentions.

Haimovich also described as 'credible,' a report that Assad has used up about half of his SCUD missiles. Read the whole thing.

Finally, here's former Defense Minister Moshe Arens talking about the delivery of the S-300 to Syria in an interview this morning on Israel Radio.

Let's go to the videotape (Hebrew with English translation).

Let's put it this way: Have the Russians yet confirmed that they delivered the S-300 to Syria? Not that I have heard.

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At 2:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
There was one Russian newspaper two weeks ago that claimed the S-300 system was already in Syria and being prepared for actual deployment.(Google Translate).

Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta: "Russian military experts are in Syria,They prepare the four divisions of S-300 for combat."



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