In response to the most recent American missile-shoot on Syria, Russia may upgrade Syrian missile defenses, to the consternation of both the US and Israel. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Increasingly it appears that the recent US coalition missile strikes on Syria have utterly backfired: instead of weakening Syria or degrading its military capabilities, the attack may have actually served to strengthen Syria’s defenses.
Since the massive strike which involved the US, UK, and France launching over 100 cruise missiles, Russia is rumored to be moving forward on delivery of its advanced S-300 missile defense system, which would be a monumental upgrade allowing Syrian defenses to far surpass current capabilities which utilize the Soviet-made S-125 and S-200 air defense systems.
Crucially, S-300s have a range of up to 150-200 kilometers (or 120 miles), bringing Syrian deterrent reach easily to within Lebanese airspace (as Israel has routinely struck targets inside Syria while firing over “neutral” Lebanese airspace in recent years), and could even extend airspace coverage into Israel itself.
Could this be the reason for some major behind-the-scenes diplomatic scrambling?
On Monday VOA News chief White House correspondent Steve Herman announced that US CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel is in the midst of “a secret and unprecedented visit to Israel.”
Knowledge of the “secret” visit was based on exclusive footage broadcast by Israel’s Kann News, which first reported, “the commander of the American Central Command arrived for the first time to Israel, and met with senior security officials, including the Chief of Staff.”
No doubt the potential for what weapons experts have commonly described as the “exceptionally advanced” Russian-supplied S-300 in Israel’s backyard is making Tel Aviv and its allies nervous. Israel has repeatedly called delivery of the S-300s a “red line” for which it would act, however, plans for just such a scenario could be hastening.