by Staff Reporter
May 22, 2013 (TSR) – Israel’s Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel said on Wednesday that S-300 advanced missile defense system is en route and will soon arrive in Syria.
The S-300 systems have been modernised repeatedly to maintain it’s reputation as the ultimate rocket and aircraft destroying machines. The S-300PMU2 Favorit can launch six missiles at once, each capable of destroying aircraft flying at several times the maximum speed of the F-16 and F-22 fighter jets – the flaunted possessions of the Israeli and US air forces, as well as intercepting ballistic targets.
Speaking at a convention held at the Fisher Institute for National Security in Herzliya, Eshel said “there is a clear understanding that such capabilities will produce confidence and aggressive behavior.”
“A surprise war can come about through many scenarios at present,” he said.
“Isolated incidents can escalate very quickly”, he explained, and added that “we are committed to being ready in a matter of hours and to operate up to the end of the spectrum.”
“Aerial superiority is a condition to win and win quickly, and is of great strategic importance. The other side understands that well, which is why Assad, with his low budget, has invested billions into purchasing the best antiaircraft missiles Russia can offer, including the S-300, which is en route to Syria. And he is not the only one; everybody is busy acquiring such capabilities.”
“Any country that is given the wonder system — its name doesn’t matter — that will make it feel that it is protected, will allow itself to do things that it would not otherwise do, and for that reason it has strategic importance beyond the operational importance,” he added.
“It’s not just our problem. The challenge that is developing in the north did not start yesterday and there isn’t a challenge that has no solution,” the air force chief noted, adding that Syria could collapse soon and different forces could get hold of Assad’s armory.
“This does not mean we will act, but it means we must be ready with our planes and missile defense systems. No one is going to tell us ‘take two weeks to prepare for the war.’ We will have to be ready for confrontations in Gaza and Lebanon, including long-range ones. Failure to prepare for this would mean a failure to learn the lessons of the Yom Kippur War.”
“In order to unleash the IAF’s intense firepower, aerial supremacy must be attained,” he said.
IDF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Benny Gantz added: “In light of the region’s instability, the military faces a real scenario of a confrontation on multiple fronts, and is in a new resource reality which could change it completely.”
The revelations come after an IDF vehicle was destroyed by Syrian forces which entered from the occupied territories and crossed the cease-fire line of Golan Heights towards the village of Bir Ajam, a Syrian territory.
The sale of Russian weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has been a source of bilateral tension between Moscow and Washington, with US officials accusing Russia of arming a regime the United States says is killing its own citizens in Syria’s raging civil war.
Last week, Washington criticized Moscow for delivering advanced Yakhont anti-ship missiles to Damascus, and last year called on Russia not to deliver overhauled helicopter gunships to the Assad regime.
Russia, however, has insisted that the deliveries are legal under international law and that it is not supplying Syria, the largest importer of Russian arms in the Middle East, with offensive weapons which can be used to kill civilians.