The “patriotic” Russian news site Reporter has published an article titled “Why Israel is bombarding Syria with impunity under the S-300s’ noses”. In the best traditions of Soviet propagandist rhetoric, the article purports to analyze the factors that have enabled the Israeli Air Force to attack targets in Syria with impunity.
“The Israeli military has committed another crime” – with such a statement, the author introduces his further analysis. Next he mentions the recent airstrike against Syrian targets, noting that “more than a dozen IDF aircraft illegally invaded Syrian airspace through Lebanon and delivered several powerful airstrikes in the region of Damascus and Homs”.
“We will leave the legal and moral aspect of what took place for the court of justice, which has long decried the Israeli aggression against the sovereign state, and we will attempt to deal with the military aspect. The problem is the fact that the sneaky attack took place within range of the Russian S-300 systems, which were sent to Syria specifically to prevent such airstrikes. Why do the ‘Favorites’ continue to remain terribly silent?” the author asks.
Next, he cites the opinion of the “well-known Russian military expert” Alexey Leonkov, who believes that the aerial defense systems remained silent due to the “curvature of the earth”, because “the S-300s were unfortunately delivered to mountainous terrain”.
“The radar antennas cannot see down. From the surface, five to ten meters are invisible – accordingly, if the antennas are raised on a mountain, then to these 5-10 meters you must add the height of the mountain. A so-called invisibility cone is formed,” Leonkov is cited as saying.
The expert believes that this enables the Israeli aircraft to “hide at low altitudes and attack with air-to-surface missiles”.
“Poor training of the crews” is identified as another reason for the ineffectiveness of the S-300s. “The Syrian army has been waging a long-term war, is taking losses and experiencing a shortage of professionals. Training our Arab allies to use complex equipment has its nuances. It is not yet known whether Russian instructors have been involved in the deployment of the S-300s, or whether it has been done exclusively by the Syrians themselves, but that would explain a lot,” Leonkov speculates.
“It’s quite possible that the humiliating air raid under the Favorites’ noses was done as a demonstration of Israeli superiority over the Syrians in the area of military prowess,” the author concludes.