Russia has deployed advanced anti-missile system to Syria

Russia has reportedly deployed S-300VM "Antey-2500" (NATO reporting name SA-23 Gladiator\Giant) anti-ballistic missile system s to Syria for the first time.

US officials report that Russia has deployed an advanced anti-missile system to Syria for the first time, a clear sign that Moscow is upping the ante on their support of the al-Assad regime in the region.

The deployment of the new weapons system comes hot on the heels of the collapse of a failed cease-fire and negotiation period with the US, which formally ended yesterday.

Reports indicate that components of the SA-23 Gladiator anti-missile/aircraft system arrived at the Russian naval base near the Mediterranean-based Syrian city of Tartus.

The SA-23 has a range of around 150 miles and is capable of (potentially) countering US launched cruise missiles that are aimed at targets in Syria, as well as aircraft.

While the SA-23s are not assembled or operational, the shipment raises alarms for US officials who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity.

“Nusra doesn’t have an air force do they?” one US official asked sarcastically speaking about an al Qaeda-affiliated group in the region. With the Islamic State unable to field manned aircraft in the region, the missile systems appear to be packaged with one target in mind- defense against the US and her allied airpower assets.

Russia previous deployed the SA-21 Growler system to Syria after a Russian aircraft was shot down by Turkish F-16s last November. Since the deployment of the Growlers, the US military has exercised caution when flying within range of the system, despite the fact that the United States insists they are targeting ISIS, not the Assad regime.

To make matters worse, President Vladimir Putin said -mere hours after negotiations had ceased yesterday- that he had suspended a Russo-American deal on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium. Putin’s action was reported by the Kremlin to be a direct result of “unfriendly actions” by the US.

Russia has been accused of using excessive force in the region, preferring large, conventional warfare-style airstrikes with heavy ordnance and incendiary weapons over precision-guided munitions. The wanton use of airpower has resulted in the United States condemning the rival superpower for several incidents, including the bombing of a UN aid convoy and the death of countless civilians in a short period of time.

Russia -who began the massive air campaign in late September of last year- has been flying bombers from both Russia and Iran in an effort to prop up the Assad regime. At the start of the bombing campaign, President Obama predicted that Russia and Iran would find themselves locked in a “quagmire.”

“[A]n attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire. And it won’t work,” Obama said at a White House press conference in October of last year.

However, the attempts to keep afloat the Assad regime have seemed to work, no matter how bloody the ends to justify the means may have been. Last Friday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner contemplated on the one-year mark of Russian bombings

“It is a grim anniversary…It is hard not to assess that they have succeeded in bolstering the regime,” he said.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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