MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Highly efficient air defenses can be created in Syria with Russia’s assistance already now, a senior Russian senator and former Aerospace Force commander said on Wednesday.
Head of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev, who spoke at the upper house’s plenary session, reminded senators of the statement by Russia’s General Staff that attacks similar to the missile strike by the US and its allies against Syria on April 14 can be prevented by delivering modern air defense systems to that Arab country, for example, S-300 complexes.
"The creation of the multi-layered and highly efficient air defense system in Syria capable of protecting military and civil facilities from air attacks is possible with Russia’s assistance already now," Bondarev said.
Concurrently, it is necessary to expand the format of training highly-skilled specialists for such air defense missile systems’ operation and maintenance, he added.
"The presence of highly efficient defensive weapons in the arsenal of any sovereign country will sober the hot heads of not only NATO’s military and generals," the senior Russian senator stressed.
Most of the Syrian air defense systems operational today comprise Soviet-made surface-to-air missile complexes that have undergone "various levels of modernization with the help of our specialists," the former Aerospace Force commander said.
Specifically, they include S-125, S-200 air defense missile complexes, Buk, Osa and Strela-10 battlefield surface-to-air systems and relatively new Pantsyr-S1 weapons, Bondarev said.
"The results of the air defense battle [on April 14 in Syria] testify to the personnel’s high combat readiness and the efficiency of air defenses created and installed with our help," the parliamentarian said, pointing out that the command and specialists of the Syrian air defense troops and the Air Force were basically graduates of Russian military academies and schools.
"They excellently passed their combat exam," the former commander of Russia’s Aerospace Force said.
Also, "measures taken in advance to disperse and re-deploy [Syrian] troops, as well as the Syrian population’s high readiness for such attacks helped avoid casualties among civilians," the senior Russian senator said.
On April 14, the US, Great Britain and France delivered a massive missile strike against Syria without the UN Security Council’s authorization. According to the data of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the missiles hit a research center in Damascus, the headquarters of the republican guard, an air defense base, several military aerodromes and army depots.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, the attack lasted from 03:42 to 05:10 local time. The Syrian air defenses shot down 71 out of 103 fired missiles. Washington, London and Paris claimed the attack was a response to an alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma.
On the same day, Head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operations Department Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi said Russia could return to the issue of delivering S-300 long-range air defense missile systems to Syria. As the Russian general stressed, the missile systems could be delivered not only to Syria but also to other countries.