The Syrian opposition website Zaman Al Wasl earlier this week reported that Russia has built a base for its S-400 long-range air defense missile systems in Hama province, 10 miles from the newly discovered Iranian missile facilities in an area considered the most loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres that Iran is building sites to produce precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, with the aim of using them against Israel.
Netanyahu said Iran is turning Syria into a “base of military entrenchment as part of its declared goal to eradicate Israel,” and is busy “building sites to produce precision-guided missiles towards that end, in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept.”
The Russians have denied a rumor that during Netanyahu’s Visit to the Kremlin last week, he and President Vladimir Putin had a serious disagreement over Israel’s intent to go after those Iranian facilities. The Russians later denied the tiff, even though Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week openly warned Israel—while not naming names—against such a move.
But Zaman Al Wasl has established that the Russians have first deployed S-400 batteries at the Hmeimym airbase, and the new deployment on the “Dhahaer rama Ahmed” hilltop near Masyaf city in northwestern Syria is yet another Russian “fevered efforts to fortify the Alawite-dominated territories and secure Iran’s long-range missile facilities.”
The S-400 Triumf, whose development began in the late 1980s, has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. With a maximum range of 250 miles, and a radar capable of detecting incoming targets at a distance of 375 miles, it has been described as “one of the best air-defense systems currently made.”
Military experts who examined satellite images of the new installations told Zaman al-Wasl that Russia has also installed batteries of its supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles P-800 Oniks, also known as Yakhont near the same Iranian air base.