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November 05, 2015

IBTimes' "S-300 in Syria" News Nothing But Hot Air

The International Business Times creates fake news. Today it claims: Russia deploys S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Syria after Sinai plane crash

Just days after a Russian civilian plane was suspected to have been shot down by a radical Islamist group, Moscow announced that after evaluating the threat it has deployed the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system around the Latakia airbase in Syria to counter any threat.

The Russian defence ministry has said the deployment of the anti-aircraft system will not only secure its airbase in Syria, but also deter any attempt to hijack its warplanes.

Russia's Aerospace Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Russian dailies on Thursday the country was taking all measures to secure its assets in Syria.

"We have studied all the possible threats," said Bondarev, adding that it has also sent in missile systems besides "fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters," Tass reported.

I would be astonished if Russia would now deploy the ground based long range air defense system S-300 to Syria. A complete S-300 unit is quite bulky with several radar and command vehicles plus the launcher vehicles and the logistic elements. There is also the Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva at sea near the Syrian coast which has an equivalent system with 64 missiles on board. There is no need to now deploy a similar land based system.

So where did IBTimes get that S-300 information from? It helpfully links to TASS at its source which says:

Russia sends missile systems to Syria to counter possible threats — air force head

Russia has deployed missile defense systems in Syria to counter a possible strike against its forces in the country and also to prevent attempts to hijack a warplane, Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Forces Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev has said.

"We have studied all the possible threats. We sent there not only fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters but also missile systems. As various force majeure circumstances may occur," Bondarev said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published on Thursday.

There is nothing in the TASS bulletin that claims deployment of an S-300 long range air defense system.

We know since mid September that Russia deployed the short range air defense system Pansir-S1 (NATO designation SA-22 Greyhound) to Syria. Reuters reported on September 11:

Moscow is sending an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Syria, two Western officials and a Russian source said, as part of what the West believes is stepped-up military support for embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

The Western officials said the SA-22 system would be operated by Russian troops, rather than Syrians. The system was on its way to Syria but had not yet arrived.

Since then tracked as well as wheeled versions of the Pansir have been seen in Russian TV reports from the Russian airport in Syria.

The Russian general said nothing new. He just mentioned what Russia "sent" to Syria in the past. The TASS headline gets that wrong as the present "sends". And the IBTimes S-300 claim is a lie pulled from hot air and without any factual base.

But such scaremongering will surely reverb in the various Internet echo chambers. It will then be used as "justification" for the U.S. to throw more weapons to jihadists in Syria.

Posted by b on November 5, 2015 at 14:45 UTC | Permalink

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Interesting. French news took the time today to debunk an ISIS video and photograph.

It's been common in the past for ISIS propagandists to reuse footage from the battles in Syria and take them out of context.

Posted by: Les | Nov 14 2015 16:38 utc | 101

10 days on from the IBTimes report of S-300 in Syria, Russia reports in a press conference at Russia's Syrian military base, that it has deployed an S-400 System (72 missiles, 400 mile range, capable of engaging 36 targets simultaneously) to protect its base and its fighter aircraft during anti-vermin operations (via CCTV Nov 14).
In the same news bulletin, Russia confirmed that it flew 109 sorties and struck 289 vermin targets, and has flown 2000 sorties since it began its Syria campaign. This news confirms that the Oligarch's in charge of the US Govt, and AmeriKKKa's M-I Complex, were more interested in Profitable Plunder than Value For Money. So Full Spectrum Dominance was merely Full Spectrum Dumbinence behind a veil of Baseless Bullshit.
I LOVE ex-Superpowers. I'll check out e-Bay to see how much the Yankees are asking for theirs...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 15 2015 6:22 utc | 102

MoD comments on S400 story in the Daily Mail

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation comments on the statement of the British Daily Mail concerning allegedly deployed S-400 air defence missile system at the ‎Hmeymim airbase:

“Certain statements regarding our airbase, which regularly come up in foreign publications, are at the very least confusing, if not laughable. We would like to believe that these fairy tales are published for the sake of self-advertisement.

Before scaring the British and the whole world by talking about the deployment of our S-400 AA missile system, they should have looked the system up on Wikipedia or the Ministry of Defence website. Then the editors of this agency would know how many elements this missile system comprises and how much space it would have taken to deploy it.
We have been working together with the journalists at the Hmeymim airbase for three days now. They have been given an opportunity to see everything here for yourselves, including air defence means of the base. There has never been S-400 AA system here. This is a clear misinformation.

We have brought you here to understand the real situation and to uncover this and other rumours, and we intend to continue inviting foreign journalists to our press-tours in future.”

FortRuss seems pretty reliable to me, hoarse. b's argument - that it was unecessary with the naval version docked at Lavarit - made sense to me as well. Draw a circle with a radius of 400 from Tartus and it covers 3/4s of Syria. The Russians would need to be at the Iraqi border before they'd get much benefit from having such a weapon on land.

Maybe the MoD is sowing confusion, but maybe not. The single component of the S-400 setup on display could be the radar, a very useful item to have in its own right, no?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 15 2015 9:55 utc | 103

... docked at Tartus ...

I looked for the CCTV statement ... didn't find it. Got a link?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 15 2015 10:01 utc | 104

jfl @ #103.
Oops! I was wrong. I checked my recording of the press conference which was conducted by one Igor Konashenkov (voice-over translation), who after giving a detailed report on Russia's recent progress denied that Russia has deployed the S-400 in Syria and ran through its basic specs before saying that the EXISTING, un-named, air defense system was sufficient to defend its airbase and fighter jets while they're busy. He also said the Syria airbase is too small to accommodate an S-400.

Apologies to b, you and others. But thanks for querying my error.
My excuse is that I was trying to watch, read on-screen labels & headings, listen, and jot things down simultaneously (multi-tasking) and I'm only a bloke.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 15 2015 17:33 utc | 105

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