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10 February 2018


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According to reports I posted in a previous thread, I believe the AA systems used were reported as S-200, not the more advanced S-400.

There are people claiming to be suspicious of the S-200 claim, since Syria has never hit any Israeli jets before. They think this was a Russian S-400 which IIRC the Syrians do not directly operate.

The motivations for Russia to hit an Israeli jet are left to the reader.

If it was the Russians, I believe this might tie in with the fact that Russia is allegedly intent on expanding military cooperation with Lebanon. Another "warning" to Israel about escalating things in Lebanon and potentially Syria?


This is horribly off-topic (my apologies, Colonel) but far too interesting to ignore. Move it elsewhere if you wish.

U.S. Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets

“It’s a Really Weird One”
The inside scoop on the New York Times’ Russian spy story from the guy who reported it

U.S. Secretly Negotiated With Russians to Buy Stolen NSA Documents — and the Russians Offered Trump-Related Material, Too

At first reading - and I recommend reading all three pieces as there is additional info in each - I can only conclude that this whole affair is lunatic in the extreme.

Perhaps our intelligence experts here can weigh in on the probabilities of any of this being an accurate account of a real intelligence operation that makes any sense.

Specifically whether it makes any sense for the NSA to try to "buy back" stolen NSA software from the US declared "primary adversary" Russia. Does the NSA even believe the Shadow Brokers are Russian intel (assumptions are one thing)?

Note that almost nothing is produced in these articles as actual evidence of anything either pro- or anti-Trump, although some things are suggested.

Whether these pieces are merely more anti-Trump propaganda intended to bolster Russiagate - as I believe the Dutch intelligence report earlier was - might be weighed.


I don't see any reference to S-400 as a culprit anywhere else.



Keep looking. pl


Yes, they strongly hinted it was s400.

What great product advertising! Everyone is gonna want a s400 system. And it seemed our israeli friends backed down.

Is this a response to other actions? It sure looks that way to me.


This, at least momentary, defeat was evidently accomplished with the Russian built S-400 system.

Doesn't look like S-400. Plus, Syrian AD does operate a number of Pantsyr systems, which are completely capable of shooting down any aerial target. But the message is clear here. I think (I could be wrong, of course) that it is Syrian Air Defense, granted with targeting from Russian complexes. As Russian media report, Israel considers the incident as closed and over and seeks Russia's mediation. Below, in Russian:



Specifically whether it makes any sense for the NSA to try to "buy back" stolen NSA software from the US declared "primary adversary" Russia.

This is so outlandish that wouldn't even make late Tom Clancy's fantasies.


Perhaps they were Iranian S-300's. The export version is obviously not equal to the Russian version, yet probably far more effective then the Syrian S-200. I wouldn't put it past the Iran's to attempt to secure their projects in Syria with this system or a Chinese version.


The motivations for Russia to hit an Israeli jet are left to the reader.

Russia DOES NOT need to hit Israeli jets. But what Russia has motivation for and is actually doing it--is to update SAA Air Defense and to train Syrian crews better (wink, wink). I said it many times, I'll repeat it again--Israel's worst nightmare is a competent, largely secular, well-armed Arab military at her borders.


The Turks lost a helicopter to the Afrin Kurds as well.

Russia didn't take the loss of that Su-24 lightly.

Peter AU

A couple of links I posted earlier over at b's blog. I believe the electronics in the Syrian system had the electronics upgraded before being integrated into the Russian system. I think the upgrade would have included the missile guidance system.
From what I have read, the S-200 is a very large, very fast missile with a large warhead and kill radius. Perhaps not as maneuverable as newer missiles but if impervious to electronic countermeasures would still be dangerous to an F16.
That all the aircraft made it back to Israel makes me think that evasive maneuvers kept them at extreme range for the warheads.
I doubt all would have made it back to Israel if it had been S-400

"KUBINKA /Moscow region/, August 25. /TASS/. A unified air defense system has been set up in Syria thanks to efforts of Russian and Syrian military experts, Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Major-General Sergey Meshcheryakov told a round table dedicated to the Syrian experience at the Army-2017 International Military-Technical Forum.
"Today, a unified integrated air defense system has been set up in Syria. We have ensured the information and technical interlinkage of the Russian and Syrian air reconnaissance systems. All information on the situation in the air comes from Syrian radar stations to the control points of the Russian force grouping," he said."

And from April 2017
The efficiency of the Syrian air defense systems will be beefed up, Konashenkov told reporters several hours after the US conducted a missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

“To provide cover for the most sensitive targets of the Syrian infrastructure a set of measures to bolster” the defense systems would be “shortly implemented,” he said.


The F-16's came out of Ramat David air base. The plane that was shot down was an F-16 C from the 110th squadron. My nephew flys F-16 D's from the 109th squadron also based at Ramat David. He reports that his instructions were to watch out for (and run from) any Russian aircraft. Frankly, the IAF was not concerned with any anti-aircraft missiles and gave pilots no information about their location before the they entered Syrian airspace and no information on the S-400's at all.



The S125 (improved SA-3)is being legislated against in Israel as "anti-semitic?" I am impressed with this evidence of simplicity of mind on the part of the Izzies. And Nikki baby is talking this up the possession of these beasts as evidence of "Russian meddling" in Syria. Evidently the Syrians are not allowed to defend themselves against The Chosen. How long is Trump going to put up with this evident bullshit? pl


The syrians have had s200 for a long time. Why did they get lucky this time?

The Russians appear to have set a trap, flying a drone over the Golan knowing this would prompt a response. The israels must have been pretty much over israel when shot down.



You are probably over-thinking this. pl



thanks. that is invaluable. pl

Larry M

It is an irony of fate that absent Western, Saudi and Israeli support for the attempt at regime change in Syria, neither the Iranians nor Hizbullah might never have gained any kind of military presence in that country.


As long as Ivanka & her husband tell him to?


Someone I read - Mercouris? - suggested the Syrians waited until the Israeli jets were at or over the border inside Israel to fire as a hint that they could hit the Israelis inside Israel.


The fact that the F-16 was shot down over Israeli territory suggests either that the original Israeli air strike was carried out from Israeli territory – with the Israelis launching long range stand-off missiles against the alleged drone facility from their own air space – or that the Syrians waited for the Israeli aircraft to return to their bases after the air strike before attacking them.

In either case the Syrians have shown that they are able to track and target Israeli aircraft flying in Israeli air space.

If the Syrians shot down the F-16 in an ambush when it was returning to its base then they have also demonstrated a previously unknown level of tactical skill.

End Quote

He also references a case in March, 2017, where it appeared the Syrians waited to fire until the Israeli jets had crossed the Lebanese border into Israeli airspace. In that case, they missed.

I have no idea whether he could be correct on that, since it seems speculative absent more actual details.

As for who sent the drone, the Israelis claim Iran, but Mercouris thinks it more likely to be a Syrian drone manufactured by the Iranians. Of course, it could have been an Iranian drone from Iranians inside Syria for their own reasons, but I tend to agree with Mercouris that seems unlikely.

I don't think Iran had anything to do with the shoot-down, as some people seem to suspect.

Also, just because Russia upgraded the Syrian's electronics doesn't mean Syria is running S-400's. It might just mean the S-200's are getting better coverage or response time.

Also found this interesting article explaining why S-400's weren't involved in Trump's cruise missile attack last year...

After U.S. Strikes Syrian Air Base, Russians Ask: 'Where Were Our Vaunted Air Defense Systems?'

The addition of four more S-400 batteries delivered in January of this year led to the following (anti-Putin) speculation:

Is Putin about to use Russian S-400 missiles to push the US out of Syria?

But according to reports, those four systems went to Hmeimim airbase and Tartus, not further east, as speculated in the article, although of course they could have been moved.

All in all, I can't find any reference to the Syrian military running S-400's, so I suspect it was S-200 involved in the shoot down, albeit possibly upgraded with better integration into the Russian air defense systems.


Russtikh President which produces the S400 says that they might sell the system to the USA.... 😂 😂
أشار رئيس شركة "روستيخ" الروسية سيرغي تشيميزوف إلى أن ​روسيا​ قد تبيع منظومات "إس-400" للدفاع الجوي للولايات المتحدة حال رغبت ​واشنطن​ بامتلاكها.
وفي حديث لصحيفة "واشنطن بوست"، أوضح أن "إس-400 منظومة دفاعية وليست هجومية، ويمكننا أن نبيعها للأميركان حال أرادوا ذلك".
وأكد أن "لا مشاكل من وجهة النظر الاستراتيجية أمام ذلك، ولا أرى أي مشاكل كذلك بالنسبة للأمن الروسي".
وأشار إلى أن هناك الكثير من الدول تود شراء هذه المنظومات من روسيا، لافتا إلى أن المعلومات المتوفرة لديه تدل على أن "إس-400" أفضل من حيث قدراتها مقارنة بالمنظومات الأميركية.

iowa steve

It will be interesting to say the least what the Trump administration's response to this will be. Unfortunately I suspect the public response will be a doubling-down on "Iranian aggression" and/or "Russian meddling", with an added measure of more support for our continued military presence in Syria.

Yeah, Right

The Israelis will not want to escalate.

Israel wants their upcoming Big Arse Shooting War to be against Hezbollah alone, and that requires intimidating Assad into remaining on the sidelines.

That way Israeli F-16 bombers can lay waste to Lebanon's infrastructure while only having to contend with whatever air defences Hezbollah itself can muster.

But if that Big Arse Shooting War *starts* against Syria and *then* spreads to Lebanon then all those assumptions go out the window: Syrian air defences will be involved from day one, and any Israeli jet that sorties over Lebanon will have to content with Hezbollah mobile defences and Syria's long-range air defences. That's a much more daunting prospect when the Israelis will need to fly round-the-clock to try and suppress those Hezbollah rocket sites.

Best to de-escalate for now, then wait for another chance to launch a turkey-shoot against Lebanon.


My guess is that Israel will go running to Trump. Asking for what I am unsure.

Peter in Toronto

Colonel, what evidence have you seen to suggest it was the S-400 system? Have the Russians expanded their engagement envelope? It was generally thought that their own SAMs would be used only to protect Russian ground forces and support personnel.

One theory I've come across is that in addition to systematic upgrades to older Syrian SAM systems, allowing them to interface in a network, the Russians have now shared a data link to their Nebo-M stations, which offer much better detection ranges and resolutions.


The moral midgets of Israel are agitating for a war for Eretz Israel -- on American dime and limb:
Sample from comment section: "With Trump in office, Israel will take the gloves off and there will be indiscriminate destruction of Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Israel will be hurt but Hizbullah and Iran will be obliterated particularly if they use WMD giving Israel and excuse to make these former countries flat, black, lifeless and glow in the dark for the next 10,000 years."
The comment section is filled with similar bloodthirsty posts. It is amazing how the "eternal victims" are so fond of "indiscriminate destruction" and massive obliteration of people living in the Middle East.

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