Satellite images show Russian-made S-300 missile defense system deployment in Syria
Israeli satellite company ImageSat says it has detected a Syrian S-300 that appears on track to become operational for the first time since Moscow transferred the missile defense system in October to counter Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons.
In early October, Moscow delivered advanced S-300 air defense missiles to Syria to protect the Iranian troops deployed in the country in the wake of last month’s downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane during an Israeli airstrike in Latakia.
Russia donated to Syria four battalion sets of S-300 missile systems of eight launchers each of which had been repaired in Russia where they had been used before being replaced by the more advanced S-400 system.
The Russian Defense Ministry then said that it would take three months to train ‘Syrian’ specialists to operate the missile system.
ImageSat captured three of the four batteries clearly visible at a military base near the northwestern city Homs.
The batteries are deployed in an area that is reportedly home to Iranian manufacturing facilities that produce precision weaponry for Lebanese Hezbollah terror group.
“It is possible that the mentioned activity indicates an increase of the operational level and alertness,” the company says.
However, ImageSat notes that the precise meaning of this development is not clear from the images alone.
Notably, that one of the launchers remains down and covered by a camouflage net, while the rest are erect, is a “rare” situation that “raises question marks about the operational level of the whole battery,” the company says.