Israeli’s Deadly Air Force Has Been Destroying Syria’s Russian-Built Air Defense Systems

    Sebastien Roblin

    Security, Middle East

    Something you might not have known. 

    Since 2012, Israeli aircraft have launched dozens of air strikes on Syrian government, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Syria. These attacks reached a new peak in May 9 when, in response to an Iranian rocket artillery attack, twenty-eight Israeli F-15s and F-16s launched more than sixty guided weapons at targets throughout Syria.

    In addition to numerous Iranian logistical bases and staging areas, the Israeli jets also fired on Syrian air defenses that attempted to engage them, destroying five Syrian missile batteries. These reportedly included older, fixed S-75 and S-200 batteries, as well as more modern, self-propelled Buk-M2E and Pantsir-S1 systems. No Israeli jets were shot down.

    The destruction of the Pantsir-S1 (NATO codename SA-22), which you can see in this video, has aroused interest because it is a relatively up-to-date short-range air defense system. While Israeli fighters likely attacked it from beyond its retaliation range, the Pantsir is supposedly capable of shooting down cruise missiles—precisely the type of weapon used to destroy it.

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