Israel Hit Several Syrian Air Defense Batteries in Sunday's Strikes

The Russian-provided S-300s were not in operation, but other Russian-made systems were hit

Amos Harel
Amos Harel
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Missiles flying into the sky near the international airport, Damascus, Syria, January 21, 2019.
Missiles flying into the sky near the international airport, Damascus, Syria, January 21, 2019.Credit: ,AP
Amos Harel
Amos Harel

The Israeli strike in Syria Sunday night hit a line of Syrian military air defense batteries. 

Among the batteries hit were Russian-made systems including SA2, 2SA3, SA17 and SA22, in addition to a radar.

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The Russian military and the Syrian air force did not operate their more advanced systems, the S-300 and S-400 - which only Russians currently own. 

Russia has yet to issue any condemnation to the Israeli strike, contrary to its pattern in response to Israeli strikes in recent months, since the downing of the Russian Ilyushin spy plane on September 17. After that incident, Russia provided Syria with eight S-300 batteries.

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A video of one of the strikes.

On Monday, at 1 A.M., Israel launched a series of attacks in Syria. For the first time, they were announced in real time, and said to be targeting Iranian arms depots and training sites. 

Russia's defense control center said that four Syrian soldiers were killed and six were wounded in the attack, adding that Syrian military air defenses destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during the air strikes.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 were killed in the strike, only two of whom were Syrian.

The attacks preceding those were carried out on Sunday in daylight, which is rare, and targeted the Damascus area. These were followed by a mid-range missile fired from Syria to Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, which was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system. 

Israel's policy of ambiguity regarding its Syria strikes has been all-but-lifted recently by Netanyahu and former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

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