Following Monday’s announcement that Russia will provide Syria with advanced S-300 air defense systems within the coming weeks, officials now say that the delivery is intended to provide enough such systems to cover all of Syrian airspace.
The early estimates are that this will mean Syria getting up to eight S-300 systems. The substantial range of the systems also means that an S-300 system in Damascus would also provide radar coverage across Lebanon, and northern Israel.
All told, this means that the S-300 systems will provide even more of a counter to the repeated Israeli airstrikes against Syrian territory. The S-300 missiles not only are of a generation meant to pose a real threat to such attackers, but the radar, far superior to the S-200, will give them advanced warning of any incursion, instead of just finding out when the rockets start landing.
Israel has long expressed opposition to Russia providing the S-300 to any of its regional rivals, generally Syria and Iran. The Russian decision to provide the systems to Syria came after an Israeli attack on the Syrian coast, during which a Russian surveillance plane was shot down.