S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems, which were sent to Syria by Russia, are from the Russian Army air defense, a source close to Russian military-diplomatic circles told Izvestia newspaper.
“These defense systems are related to the army air defense and are designed primarily for the destruction of aero-ballistic targets and cruise missiles,” the source noted.
According to another source, Russia intended to provide Syrians with several dozens of armored vehicles, which had been removed from operation and kept in storage, and military trucks.
Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed reports from American media that Moscow provided Syria with S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems. The statement was made by the official representative of the Ministry, Igor Konashenkov. He said that the missile system was designed to ensure the security of the naval base in Tartus and for vessels in the Task Force of the Russian navy near the shore line of Sirya.
However, as Igor Morozov, a member of the Council of the Federation Committee for Foreign Affairs, told Izvestia, other Russian naval missile systems operate in Syria as well. This, according to him, will allow to "cool down some hot heads" and allow to establish a no-fly zone over the country if necessary.
“In the framework of military and technical cooperation, Damascus was provided with a number of missile systems, including Buk M1 missile systems, an Osa tactical surface-to-air missile systems and some others. Thus, today the United States will not be able to repeat Iraq’s experience. The Syrian navy is ready to repel attacks coming from any air vehicles. Moreover, Americans, when attacking, may hit Russian advisers and trainers, which will lead to counter-measures from Moscow, including the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syrian territory,” the senator noted.
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that Washington is discussing the possibility of airstrikes against government forces in Syria, particularly the areas around Aleppo where the army surrounded militia forces. This question was raised last week during the meeting between representatives from the US State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and Chiefs of Staff.
The White House did not deny this information. The relevant statement was made by press-secretary Joshua Earnest, who recognized that the United States’ strikes against government forces in Syria may lead to a confrontation between the Russian and American militaries. He also noted that “from the very beginning we claimed that this chaos cannot be stopped solely by military methods. And the decision we will come to will not consist solely of a military component.”
Earnest did not answer follow-up questions regarding possible attacks against government forces in Syria, explaining that he doesn’t want to enter into the discussion between President Barack Obama and his advisers.
According to Oleg Glazunov, an expert from the Association of Military Political Scientists, the United States may indeed start launching strikes against Syrian troops.
“It’s possible. Russia deployed S-300 systems in Syria for a reason. Moscow is ready to use them. And it will not lead to a new world war. In the end, we already had to shoot American aircraft down in Korea and Vietnam. President Vladimir Putin makes it clear that Russia will not make any concessions in Syria, and the issue is whether Moscow is a player who is ready to defend the interests of its allies and can be relied on, or we just step back as we did many times over the last 25 years,” the expert said.