The former head of the Israel Air Force intelligence corps, Brig. Gen. (res.) Ram Shmueli, on Thursday told Israeli radio station 103 FM regarding Russia’s transfer of the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft system to the Syrian army that the IDF could continue to attack targets in Syria and destroy the missile system’s batteries if they tried to attack its warplanes.
“From the point of view of the air force, the manner of carrying out missions and hitting Iranian targets will not change at the military level,” Shmueli said. “The Air Force is capable of carrying out its missions with the new system present.”
“Throughout my life, new missiles have entered the scene and we found a solution,” said Shmueli, whose career including commanding of Squadron 101, the IAF’s “prime” squadron, which flew F-16C aircraft. “The moment the battery wants to attack us, we will destroy it,” he explained, adding, “I assume that the Russians will not want to create excessive friction, but we must not be confused. We have an enemy – and it is not Russia. We will remain determined and the Air Force will continue to carry out its missions and eliminate any arriving arms shipments.”
“It is important to remember that Israel is not a superpower but rather rests on the shoulders of the United States, and it is clear to me that Russia’s step [deploying the S-300] in Syria is a direct message to the United States,” Shmueli said. “There is a bigger game here, and the IDF’s sphere of operation is not about to change. There is no way that we would receive an order to destroy targets and would not destroy them. Once there is a mission we will implement it, that’s what we have an Air Force for. You don’t have to worry too much because it’s a strategic game.”