According to military expert Sergei Khatylev, Russia has transferred more than 30 Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile systems to Syria. He also noted that such a significant amount of missile systems could repel a large-scale missile attack of several hundred cruise or ballistic missiles and secure the airspace over an area of about 10 thousand square kilometers.
"To date, [in service with the Syrian Arab Army] more than 30 anti-aircraft missile-cannon Pantsir-S systems have been deployed in Syria. Missile systems were produced at KBP Instrument Design Bureau in Tula. These are missile and cannon weapons, and this is a modern weapon," said Khatylev, as quoted by the Politika Segodnya news outlet.
The exact number of air defense systems sent by the Russian military to Syria is not disclosed. However, it significantly exceeds the amount of air defense systems that were deployed on the Syrian territory last year.
The reason for Russia's deployment of a large number of Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile systems to Syria is unknown. However, according to analysts, Russia may completely close the airspace over most of the Syrian territory.
On November 19,the Israeli military carried out air strikes against dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) the air strikes were in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights the day before.
The IDF said that a number of Syrian air defense system were also destroyed after they opened fire on Israeli aircraft.