Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Syrian State Television: Suspected Israeli War Jets Strike Warehouses Housing an Advanced Russian-made Anti-Aircraft System

Suspected Israeli aircraft bombed a military complex on the outskirts of Damascus’ international airport Sunday in what Syrian state television said was an attack on warehouses housing an advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft system.
The attack would be consistent with repeated Israeli pledges that it would not allow Syria to deploy the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system and raised the question of whether Russia had sent new components of the system to Syria, perhaps in violation of an August pledge not to complete delivery under terms of a United Nations arms embargo.
The Israeli military offered no comment on the report.
The government-operated Syrian Arab News Agency blamed Israel directly for the strikes and said they targeted “two safe areas in the Damascus countryside in al Dimas and near Damascus International Airport.”
Video accompanying the government television report showed jet aircraft dropping anti-aircraft flares as they zoomed through the sky – supposedly the raiding planes – followed by explosions in the distance. The video was similar to postings on Twitter and other social media by users claiming to have witnessed the attack. All the video indicated the air strikes came during daylight hours.
The Russian sale of the S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria has long been controversial. Israel first objected to the sale when it was agreed to in 2007, fearing that the system, with a range of nearly 50 miles, would allow the Syrians to down Israeli aircraft while still in Israeli airspace. Considered one of the most sophisticated anti-aircraft defense systems in the world, it is said to be able to track as many as 100 targets simultaneously.
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