Russia said it will deploy S-400 long-range air defense missiles (photo) to its base in Syria and destroy any target that may threaten its warplanes following the downing of a Russian military jet by Turkey.
The S-400 missiles, which Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered sent to the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia, just 50 km away from the border with Turkey, are capable of striking targets within a 400 km range with deadly precision.
Russia also moved the navy missile cruiser Moskva closer to the shore to help protect Russian warplanes with its long-range Fort air defense system.
“The S-400 will be ready to destroy any aerial target posing a potential danger to our aircraft,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with military officials. He also announced the severance of all military ties with Turkey and said that from now on, Russian bombers will always be escorted by fighters on combat missions over Syria.
“The S-400 is widely regarded by experts as the most powerful and technologically advanced air defense system in the world, and its deployment in Syria sends a powerful statement”, Security Analyst and US Navy Veteran Mark Sleboda
“This is a very powerful defensive statement from Russia … very soon there will be a quite effective Russian no-fly zone over almost the entirety of Syrian territory, certainly covering all west of Syria, and very far towards the eastern border,” Sleboda added.