Late Thursday night, Israel – without warning or provocation – launched missiles into Syria. According to Syrian military sources, the attack was entirely defeated by Buk-M systems and not Syria’s much newer (and greatly publicized) S-300 systems. However, there are now signs emerging that certain parts of the advanced S-300 system may have been used to repel the attack.
Specifically, hints dropped by sources say that while no S-300 missiles were fired to intercept the Israeli projectiles, S-300 early warning and primary fire control radar units may have been used in detecting, tracking and guiding interception fire.
The Israeli missiles, which were ground-launched instead of air-launched, were in fact detected several minutes earlier than has been the case historically due to presence of advanced Syrian early warning radars atop Tal al-Hara (near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights) which allows for detection and tracking of very small air objects as far away as eastern Israel.
To clarify, the interception missiles fired by Syrian air defense were from the Buk-M system; the use of expensive S-300 missiles to down an artillery launched projectile is wasteful in terms of cost and is also simply unnecessary.
The Syrian military was able to reinstall advanced early warning radars (their type undisclosed) atop Tal al-Hara only in recent months after a major offensive against rebel forces and ISIS which lead to the complete liberation of southwest Syria.
There are suspicions that Russia may have assisted in the re-installation of such radar units atop the strategic mountain. The previous early warning radar system (prior to its decommissioning in 2014) was known as “Center-S.”
The final result of the Israeli attack: All Israeli projectiles were intercepted; NONE hit their intended target.
According to a source from the Syrian military, their air defense units managed to shoot down all enemy missiles before they could reach their intended targets in rural Damascus.
In particular, the enemy missiles were targeting the Damascus Governorate town of Al-Kisweh, which has several warehouses and research centers.
A number of missiles were also shot down over the Al-Quneitra Governorate, the source added.