Syria Goes Hot: Russia To Deliver Weapons, Deploys Air Defense; Israel Warns Russia; Obama Demands No Fly Zone

Tyler Durden's picture

Those who were intently following the USDJPY pair formerly known as the stock market today missed the biggest news of the day: the proxy war in Syria just went hot, following a confluence of news, first that Russia insisted "it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew" and in logical retaliation to yesterday's decision by Europe to lift an arms embargo to the Al Qaeda-supported, Qatari mercenaries operating in Syria, also known as "rebels.

This lead Israel's defense minister Moshe Yaalon to immediately signal that "its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria."

Meanwhile back in the US "the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast."

And just to make it very clear that Russia is not bluffing, it announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces "The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit."

And to think: yet another threat of a global war over some natgas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, and a threat to Gazprom's monopoly.

From AFP:

Russia insisted Tuesday it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite international criticism, as fears of spillover from the conflict grew after three Lebanese soldiers were killed in a border-area attack.


Israel warned Russia it would "know what to do" if the delivery went ahead, and Syria's top rebel commander gave Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement, a 24-hour ultimatum to stop fighting alongside regime forces.


The developments stoked tensions after the European Union decided to lift an embargo on weapons to Syria's rebels, in a move the opposition reacted to with caution.


Syria's regime joined its ally Russia in condemning the EU decision as an "obstruction" to peace efforts, while accusing the bloc of supporting and encouraging "terrorists".


Moscow said it would go ahead with its plans to deliver the S-300 missiles to Syria, despite international concerns, saying the weapons were part of existing contracts.


"We consider these supplies a stabilising factor," deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said, adding they could act as a deterrence against foreign intervention.

Israel's immediate response via the Guardian:

Israel quickly issued a thinly veiled warning that it would bomb the Russian S-300 missiles if they were sent to Syria, as such a move would bring the advanced guided missiles within range of civilian and military planes over Israel. Israel has conducted three sets of air strikes on Syria this year, aimed at preventing missiles being brought close to its border by the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah.


"The shipments haven't set out yet and I hope they won't," Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli defence minister, said. "If they do arrive in Syria, God forbid, we'll know what to do."


Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, argued that the delivery of the S-300 system had been previously agreed with Damascus and would be a stabilising factor that could dissuade "some hotheads" from entering the conflict. That appeared to be a reference to the UK and France, who pushed through the lifting of the EU embargo on Monday night and are the only European countries considering arming the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

After much deliberations, and unable to find the much needed "weapons of mass destruction" to justify intervention, the US is nonetheless escalating next and Obama is now said to demand plans for a No Fly Zone over Syria from the Pentagon. From the Daily Beast:

Along with no-fly zone plans, the White House is considering arming parts of the Syrian opposition and formally recognizing the Syrian opposition council.


The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast.


The request was made shortly before Secretary of State John Kerry toured the Middle East last week to try and finalize plans for an early June conference between the Syrian regime and rebel leaders in Geneva. The opposition, however, has yet to confirm its attendance and is demanding that the end of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s rule be a precondition for negotiations, a condition Assad is unlikely to accept.


In April, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that the military was planning for a range of options in Syria but that he did not necessarily support using those options.


"We're prepared with options, should military force be called upon and assuming it can be effectively used to secure our interests without making matters worse,” he said. “We must also be ready for options for an uncertain and dangerous future. That is a future we have not yet identified."

And finally going back full circle, Russia announced overnight that its four regiments of S-300 air defense systems have been deployed at the Ashuluk firing range in southern Russia as part of another snap combat readiness check of the Russian armed forces, the Defense Ministry said. From RIA:

The regiments were airlifted on Thursday by military transport planes to designated drop zones where they will carry out a variety of missions simulating the defense of the Russian airspace from massive attacks by “enemy” missiles and aircraft.


The missions will be carried out in conditions of heavy electronic warfare to test the capabilities of the air defense units to the highest limit,” the ministry said.


A total of 8,700 personnel, 185 warplanes and 240 armored vehicles are involved in the three-day exercise, overseen by Col. Gen. Vladimir Zarudnitsky, head of Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Directorate.

Surely all of the above is very beneficial for future global GDP prospects.

Finally, here is the Russian S-300 system causing Qatar gas pipeline plans global democracies so much consternation:

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prains's picture

cue kim jong il 3,2,,1....


somebody get his cape ready

slaughterer's picture

Finally, WTI, PMs, and Treasuries will rise again.  

nope-1004's picture

KJI died in Dec 2011, if you believe Korean state news.  Or do you have differing info?


malikai's picture

It's gonna suck to be downwind that place some day.

Precious's picture

According to Mossad reports, Netanyahoo has a tiny dick.

MagicHandPuppet's picture

Israel warns Russia... that's a good one.  Without the US Gubmint to give it handouts and be it's pit bull, those Israeli dogs don't have shit but the fascist prison they've created for themselves and the people whose land they occupy.

Manthong's picture

We must be confident that the forces for liberty, a righteous political system and free, fair markets will prevail,. but don’t ask me who the hell they are.

Troll Magnet's picture

Israel should just send their Mossad goons to Russia and have them blow up a couple of towers and then frame it on Syria. Problem solved! 

Max Hunter's picture

I want to know the incoterms of this sale..

PiratePawpaw's picture

Cant we just get on with it already?.....I mean really, for decades we have been on the verge of bombing/eating/drinking/smoking/spending/barrowing/rehypothecating ourselves into oblivion......

The verge is so yesterdays news. Lets just jump and see what comes next.

I hope the squirrels take over. Squirrels are kinda cool.

ApollyonDestroy's picture

quit being such a whore truthspirit


..or come up with some new dreams already

Karl von Bahnhof's picture

SOT - you are an Idiot.

For all ZHers, watch this, it is very clear about the conflict and near future:

Alex Dugin

DanDaley's picture

So, everybody is throwing down the gauntlet it seems.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


I'm the reincarnation thereof to be accurate

Funny how at any given moment there are thousands of people who claim the same thing.

phyuckyiu's picture

Weren't some hedgers saying a week ago that Russia only has manual warfare gadgets, nothing to be concerned about, and I had to remind everyone that the S-300 and Yakhont Sunburn Missile are the trump cards? Thanks Tyler for the schematic. Can you post a schematic for the Yakhont as well? LUB CHU.

Ignatius's picture

Cue Leslie Stahl/60 Minutes interview post WW3:


Leslie: "The world economy is in ruins, 1 billion people are dead -- 1/3 children -- was it worth it?"

Madeline Albright:  "We think it was."

RafterManFMJ's picture

I predict global strategists will be surprised the fuck out by Russia deploying the Dong-Feng 21D within range of the Med. and Persian Gulf this year.  And that might change...everything.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


I predict global strategists will be surprised the fuck out by Russia deploying the Dong-Feng 21D within range of the Med. and Persian Gulf this year.  And that might change...everything.

Isn't that the advanced version of the Dong-N-UR Bung 2DP with Jissbon-penetrating warhead?

RSDallas's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  1960 to 70's technology?  We didn't even have cell phones then!  That crap would be destroyed before it left the platform. 

jonjon831983's picture

Guess how old the design for F-16's are... 1974.  Over 30 years old and still being sold.  Of course since the original design they have components upgraded with newer equipment and even have local variants.

Now apply principle to other weapon platforms from 70's or so.

monkeyshine's picture

Maybe we shall see a test of your theory. Could be the Russians (and Iranians) don't really want to field test them. They sell well enough untested against "western" hardware.  Aren't these same SAMs defending some Iranian nuke sites? If deployed in Syria they provides a convenient trial run...

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

It will be interesting to see how they go about getting the SAMs from Ashuluk to Syria.  You either have to go through Turkey or Northern Iraq.  Only other route is through Bulgaria/Greece.  No fly zone indeed.  Interested to know the capabilities of the Tartus base in providing sufficient deterrence.

The Phu's picture

I'm going to throw a "contrarian" POV out there...  Obummer has mastered the use of drones in undeclared, illegal wars aroudn the world.  That experience might prove quite useful...  


Let's assume that Israel either doesn't try or fails to disrupt the shipment of these Russkie SAMs.  If each of these platforms carries 48 missiles, with two missiles targeted at each "bogey" then we can assume each mobile launcher can target 24 planes.  5 minutes to reload/redeploy, that's two hours to launch the entire salvo.  In two hours, I suspect the Pentagon can manage to swarm each of the six launchers to be delivered by Russ with more than 24 drones (actually, even say Russ figures this out and launches one missile per drone - it's not like it's going to do a 9G evasive manuever or something).  In two hours, I'd think we could launch at least one hellfire from at least one of 25 drones flown at each launcher.  The beautiful thing is that why even bother sending a $2b (and two American lives) B-2 bomber to potentially neutralize this when you could send a swarm of drones and have a potentially high success rate with far less taxpayer fiat at risk??

Obummer has demonstrated his prowess of executing Americans, sorry, typo, unconventional war with drones.  The Pentagon has to figure this.  This really isn't a threat, but perhaps the political cover to drag us into another unneccessary war. 


Just a random, fairly uneducated thought...

Urban Redneck's picture

boring operational details to consider...

The missle batteries will be delivered on a Russian ship (given the circumstances, quite possibly a military flagged vessel)

Accompanying the missles will be uniformed Russian military officers.


Killing a goat fucker with a cruise missile or a drone is one thing.  Launching an overt military assault against a major nuclear power is quite another.

MeMadMax's picture

That's why we know israel is just pounding it's fists over it.

Dane Bramage's picture

Or Israel will just wait for the Russians to go home? 

wee-weed up's picture

Forget Israel...

This is Obama wanting a wag-the-dog front-page diversion to take the heat off him and all his scandals.

A war right now would be just what the doctor ordered. Mission accomplished.

Sandmann's picture

I am not sure he will get one.......maybe two or three. Britain failed when it could not take on Italy, Germany, Japan simultaneously and funnily enough it did not need to. It had been Japan's ally 1902-1922 until the US objected as a major creditor of British war loans; and it had been Italy's ally under the Hoare-Laval Pact; and Hitler saw Britain and Italy as the only potential allies in Western incompetent foreign policy had Britain going bust to save the USSR.

What mistakes will Obama make ? Will he face down China in Asia and Russia in the Middle East ? Will Americans pay the taxes to fund the munitions ? They went through so many cruise missiles in Libya, are the stocks replenished ? Is Taiwan defensible ? Is Japan ? Is India ? What about an Iranian entry and Pakistan and China and Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kenya and Nigeria being toppled ?

dark pools of soros's picture

If China or Pakistan nukes India that will destroy all US corps since they outsourced everything to keep making profits

That would be a true black swan if they just beat the shit out of India then Taiwan. South Korean Singapore and hold Japan hostage

Lore's picture

Guess my humour is too subtle...

San Diego Gold Bug's picture

Great comment UR !!I am still laughing!!!!

SwingersRuS's picture

Pride cometh before a Fall...

jonjon831983's picture

Exactly, that's likely amongst the reasons why the Russians have been adding more ships: protection of material transported into the region.

Those supposed humanitarians on a boat heading to Palestine were stopped and boarded by Israeli commandos, that would not likely happen if there was Russian warship escort (assuming they would have put themselves out there for that).

LeisureSmith's picture

Not a bad idea etirely, but the problem with that is that the SAM's are a defensive weapon and to destroy them would be an agressive act and likely kill some Russian operators/advisers. Not good, but who knows, this "wider war" has been in the works for some time and that might just be a "good" way to get it firing on all cylinders.

The MIC is salivating for some modern warfare...I'm not. Fuck the war profiteer.

Edit: And yeah, what Urban Redneck said....Dang, i'm slowposting like a boss.

Maestro Maestro's picture

The Syrians already have in place short- and medium-range anti-aircraft missile batteries defending their airspace, including the famous Pantsir-S1 system.  That's the main reason why the Israeli airforce fired their missiles from Lebanese airspace because they were deterred from entering Syrian airspace by the SAMs in Syria.  So the Israeli or American aircraft do not have only the S-300s to be delivered to Syria to contend with.

In addition to the above, there already are naval version S-300s on the Russian warships docked at the Syrian Tartus port.  Now the really interesting question is, why didn't the Russians shoot down the Israeli aircraft or the missiles they fired?  Those Russian systems surely were capable of detecting and deterring the Israeli planes that bombed Syria.

Those Russians betrayed the Syrians, it seems.

john39's picture

or, the Russians are doing everything they can to avoid WWIII while the foaming at the mouth mad israelis are doing everything they can to start it...

Strut's picture

or, the Russians, Israelis, China and every fucking other country with a fiat loving central bank is in need of a reset machine ala WWI/WWII. They all have their reasons to play... the end game is the same... only the final state of the board after checkmate is still in flux.

jonjon831983's picture

Biding their time maybe to continue building up defenses... especially when they can only take defensive measures in a conventional sense or else spark something bigger - they can't show all their cards at once until adequate defenses are in place.  Looking at it if Iran is next target, the longer they delay and keep building up defenses the more hardened Iran will be after Syria.

monkeyshine's picture

That is of course a decent theory. At the same time, SAMs don't do to well against ground-based sabotage either.  This is a guerilla conflict Syria against factions of its people.  Only Israel and Syria are flying over the Syrian skies. The "rebels" are fighting this on the ground. 

Sandmann's picture

"Rebels" are being beaten and will be a long way from S300 batteries which will be screened. Do you realy think the Russians have air defence strategies vulnerable to US soldiers entering Soviet territory ? By the same token the USA is vulnerable to Chinese PhD students hacking Pentagon systems or bringing down NORAD. Or British "lone wolves" taking down Fylingdales or Menwith Hill.

On the other hand, how does Los Angeles look after a coordinated Chinese and Russian nuclear strike on East and West Coasts ??

MeMadMax's picture

Thats what the ocean is for, numbnuts...