Fort Russ - 2nd December, 2015
Elijah J. Magnier
Syrian war is rolling like a snowball on the edge of the winter with additional new elements that are introduced in the conflict. The presence of new weapons and armies will impose a heavy weight on the various forces fighting on the ground and over the ongoing diplomacy in the attempt to shorten the life of the war in Syria.
A high-ranking officer within the joint operation room in Damascus (consisting of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah) said “Damascus received sets of S -300 advanced Russian missiles, ready to enter active service. Soon, Syria will announce that any country using the airspace without coordinating with Damascus will be viewed as hostile and will shoot the jet (s) without warning. Those willing to fight terrorism and coordinate with the military leadership will be granted safe corridors”.
In another development, according to the same source, “Iran is preparing two squadrons of Sukhoi to engage the war in Syria. These will be stationed at the T4 Syrian military airport in Homs, very close to Palmyra (Tadmur), previously known as Tiyas. The Iranian Air Force will join the Russian Air Force in their war against extremist terrorist Kafeeree in Syria”.
“The alliance of Russia, Iran, Syria and their allies like Hezbollah, the Iraqis and others are all directly involved in the battle. Russian armed forces, including ground troops, the Navy and the Air Force are supported by air defense system using TOR M 1 / M2 medium-range missiles, accompanied by Pantsir S- along with their most advanced S-400 missiles to create an air umbrella coverage over the Russian forces in the country. Another airport in Homs, al-Sha’ayrat, has been prepared to host newly arriving Russian Air jets.
Al-Sha’ayrat is one of the most important military airport in Syria. Ground troops are securing a wide parameter to allow a comfortable maneuver. Engineers and ground crew services are ready and began to receive inbound aircraft of the Russian Federation, led by advanced Su-34 equipped with air-to-air missiles to protect other Jets while bombing terrorists from another incident like the Su-24 downed by Turkey last week”.
The sources add “Iran sent 4000 IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) equipped with mechanisms grenades and rocket launchers with self-propelled cannons to support its offensive operations in Syria. Moreover two squadrons of the Iranian Air Force will be deployed in the T4 –Tiyas airport, located close to Al-Sha’ayrat, when the Iranian engineers will conclude their work at the site. Iran Air Force, trilled to raise the efficiency of pilots in real combat operation, will provide an air support for all ground forces from Palmyra to Raqqa. Moscow agreed to provide all maintenance and ammunition needed to the Iranian jets. ”
On the S-300, the source concuded: “Syrian air defense crew completed their training on the S -300 missile system in Russia and received the full sets agreed with the government the Syrian forces. The Russian-made S-300s, which can engage 12 targets simultaneously at distances of 200 kilometers and heights of up to 27 kilometers, will be deployed in the liberated areas to cover the full Syrian geography. Damascus is expected – said the source – to announce, soon, that every unidentified jet flying in the sky of Syria will be considered hostile and will be shot down if no previous coordination have been made with the Syrian authorities. Syria is ready to provided safe corridors for those willing to strike terrorism”.
It is unlikely that Syria would declare war in the sky on the western coalition hitting ISIS group despite the deployment of the S-300 and when it will be officially announced. Nonetheless, it is certainly a strong message to Turkey that is seeing its never lasting dream of “safe-zone” vanishing in the air now more than ever. It is also a way for Damascus to put pressure on the west, mainly France and the United Kingdom, to force a diplomatic coordination with the actual government, also in terms of security, intelligence and “war on terror”. However, sources in the Syrian capital confirm that Assad doesn’t expect a sudden return of the Blue/White/Red flag over the French Embassy and the return of an Ambassador, despite the Paris attack. But for the war on terror to be efficient, Paris needs Damascus, and not the other way around, for it’s own national security protection. There are over 1400 French Mujahedeen Takferees fighting along ISIS and al-Qaeda in Bilad al-Sham. Many of these are listed in Assad intelligence files. The DGSE, French external intelligence service, will have no access to these without a diplomatic price in exchange. It will be a challenge for France to fly its jets over Syria without any coordination with Damascus and with the risk of being shot down by the S-300, mistaken for a Turkish or unfriendly jet, like Israel.
T4 Military Air Base (known as Tiyas):