(Image courtesy of Moscow Times)
Besides the Russian-manufactured S-500, the S-400 is the most desirable system for knocking down enemy aircraft. The Turks have insisted on purchasing the S-400 despite full-throated condemnation from NATO countries who argue that the system is incompatible with target-acquisition platforms used by NATO. The Turks have dug in their heels and shouted “Fudge!”. The deal is going through with or without Brussels’ acquiescence. European dawdling over Turkey’s efforts to join the EU has soured Ankara’s taste for the Continent.
But, efforts to negotiate a deal on the S-400s between Iran and Moscow have floundered. Moscow was only willing to sell Tehran the S-300, a less efficient and less effective system. The reason is quite simple: The Russians don’t trust the Iranians to simply buy the system and the Iranians have a proven record of reverse-engineering everything they get a hold of. One example is the American drone that was almost brought down on Iranian territory by a near-science fiction-like tractor beam that resulted in Iranian scientists recreating the drone for their own and their allies’ uses. Syria today uses that same drone design to harass and harry the terrorists in Idlib and Hama. Although the Chinese have been manufacturing effective drones for years, it is just better to get a drone free from Tehran, a drone whose technology is most familiar to Iranian fighters alongside the Syrian Army.
This is a problem the Americans face with China and its never-ending efforts to steal Yankee technology. The Russians are simply less transparent than the Americans. If they’re not sure you won’t re-manufacture the product, they won’t sell it to you.
To prove my point, folks, the S-300 has already been cloned in Iran and the number of batteries on the Bastion-like platform exceeds 75, many of which have already been delivered to Syria. This has caused some friction with Mr. Putin who, as you all know, doesn’t tolerate what he views as treachery. In any case, the new and improved S-300 deployed by the IRGC knocked down a drone, the RQ 4 Global Hawk, a couple of days ago – a drone that was touted as “untouchable”. That is why Trump balked.
THE PERSIAN GULF AT THE STRAITS OF HORMUZ:
(Image courtesy of Thoughtco)
At its narrowest point, the Straits of Hormuz, is 21 miles or 39 kms. wide. Both Iran and Oman, who are the nations at the narrowest point, extended their sea-air territorial claims 12 miles each for a total of 24 miles. So much for the American position that the drone which was knocked down was in international airspace. When the drone was detected crossing into Iranian airspace, the ground commander ordered the S-300 to blast it out of the skies. The Iranians now have a treasure chest of parts from the plane which they have recovered. The U.S. does not recognize either Iran’s or Oman’s claims to the 12 mile air and sea territorial extensions. The U.S. only recognizes its own 12 mile territorial barriers.
(Image courtesy of SANA)
Two days ago, a drone was detected flying in from Idlib Province and on a straight path to Hama’s Military Airbase. (See map, above) The drone was shot down by an MT system and recovered. It turned out to be locally-built drone of the type used by HTS or Alqaeda. The drone was very sophisticated, armed with 10 missiles loaded with C-4 and had a very advaced GPS capability. It also had cameras aboard enabling it to send back images. The belief is that is was designed by a NATO country which wanted credible deniability as far as supporting terrorists such as these.
Today, terrorists coming out of Kafr Zaytaa, Al-Habeet and Al-Lataamina fired on North Hama at the villages of Al-Shaykh Hadeed and Al-Jarnaba a barrage of rockets which destroyed material assets of the villagers only. The SAA responded by firing back using artillery and destroyed several rocket launchers.
At Al-Mastooma and the area of Jabal Al-Arba’een SAA spotters pursued a series of convoys moving south towards Areeha. The SAA opened a torrent of artillery and rocket fire destroying all the convoys leaving the remnant rodents scurrying toward the village of Musaybeen. The group was Nusra (HTS or Alqaeda).