Russia’s S-400 deployed at Iranian arms factory in Syria; Deployment comes two weeks ahead of Russian “Zapad 2017“ drill in Belarus; Turkey and Russia progressing towards S-400 deal (Photo: Wikimedia Commons), August 31, 2017.
Russia has deployed its S-400 anti-missile system to an Iranian missile factory in Syria.
Reports of the deployment surfaced Thursday, Russia reportedly stationing the S-400 system at the arms factory near Tartus this week. The weapons factory is used to produce long-range missiles for Hezbollah and is supported and funded by Iran.
The Russian S-400 missile defense system is capable of destroying aerial targets from all ranges and has tracking technology for cruise and ballistic missiles and projectiles.
The deployment comes just two weeks ahead of the Russian’s massive military drill “Zapad 2017” that will take place in Belarus. While the Russians claim the drill is a “defensive drill”, the drill will include over 100,000 Russian soldiers and extensive arms and equipment. As Amir stated in his breaking news update yesterday, the drill could be Russia testing the ground for a large-scale invasion.
The developments come amidst Israel’s last diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s territorial growth and influence in the region, particularly in Syria. Prime Minister Netanyahu has shared intelligence reports of Iran’s growth in military presence in Syria, Yemen, through Hezbollah in Lebanon and in Iraq.
In the past two week, Prime Minister Netanyahu has met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President Putin and Jared Kushner on Iran. An Israeli security delegation led by the Director of the Mossad Yossi Cohen traveled to Washington last week to provide an intelligence report on Iran’s development in the region to US White House and security officials.
Israel has been clear that it will do all it needs to protect the Jewish State, emphasizing the past week that it is nearing the end to its diplomatic approach.
During a address to the press with UN head Antonio Guterres Monday, Prime Minsiter Netanyahu stated clearly “I think the most pressing problem we face regards Hezbollah and Syria…Iran is busy turning Syria into a base of military entrenchment and it wants to use Syria and Lebanon as war fronts in its declared goal to eradicate Israel. It is also building sites to produce precision-guided missiles toward that end in both Syria and in Lebanon. This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept. It is our right not to allow this noose to tighten around Israel.”
Israel’s Defense Minister warned the international community that Israel will not observe while Iran extends its threats on Israel’s borders stating last week “Iran, through the Revolutionary Guards, is trying to create a new reality around us. The fact that Iran is trying to turn all of Syria into a forward outpost against Israel, with military bases, thousands of Shiite mercenaries brought from all over the Middle East, an airbase and a naval base and the attempts to set up precision weapons production facilities in Lebanon.” He warned, “Israel has no intention of tolerating these attempts. We will not be spectators on the sidelines.”
On diplomatic efforts including talks with Russia, talks with Trump’s delegation currently in the region and following meetings between White House and security officials with an Israeli security delegation including Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, Lieberman stated “We must exhaust all diplomatic channels, and that’s what we’re currently trying to do…I hope that we will be able to resolve this issue on the diplomatic level, with the help of the international community and vigorous activity in all directions, and that we don’t have to come up with different solutions.”
Additionally this week, Russia confirmed progress in its arms sale of the S-400 to Turkey. According to Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director, Dmitry Shugae, “Moscow and Ankara will soon reach an agreement over the remaining points waiting for resolution.” Negotiations will reportedly be held through out September to expedite the sale.”