Syria Will Join WIth Russia To Participate In A Massive Military Drill Training Syrians How To Shoot Down NATO and Israeli Planes If/When NATO Decides To Strike Syria In the Very Near Future... Representatives of the Syrian Defense Ministry will attend the Combat Commonwealth-2011 military drills, where they will see how one can take down aircraft and missiles. This Arab republic, which is in the midst of raging protests, continues to be the largest importer of Russian weapons in the Middle East and North Africa.In recent years, Russia has delivered several major arms shipments to Syria, including supplies made within the framework of the program for modernization of the MBT T-72 of the Syrian Armed Forces to the level of T-72M1, supplies of six 2S6 Tunguska Air-Defense Missile Systems (ADMS), 18 Buk-M2E ADMS, 36 Pantsir-S1 ADMS, several shipments of Igla ADMS with Strelets launchers, as well as simulators for helicopters and other military aircraft.Therefore, finding themselves facing a military threat from NATO, the Syrians have accepted the invitation of Russia’s Defense Ministry to attend the Combat Commonwealth exercises. In the Syrian embassy, representatives confirmed the military’s involvement to Izvestia.“Several Syrian Defense Ministry representatives plan to attend the air defense training, though who in particular will go has not yet been determined,” explained embassy representatives.In order to demonstrate how to “strike the enemy in the sky”, about 2,000 people involved in the training will shoot down the “enemy aircraft” with the help of all of Russia’s principal mid-range (Krug, Buk, S-75, S-125) and long-range (S-200, S-300, S-400) air defense systems. NATO aircraft will be simulated by Russia’s target vehicles.According to Konstantin Makienko, an expert with the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, among the equipment that will be used in the exercises, Syrians have the Buk, S-200, and S-125 in their inventory.“Technically, they are able to destroy any NATO aircraft through these means. However, NATO and Israeli pilots have an enormous amount of experience in dealing with air defense systems, and Syria’s air defense will most likely be defeated,” said Makienko.According to him, attending Russian military drills will barely help the Syrians get better prepared for combat, although Syrian experts will obtain a certain amount of knowledge, including how to organize. However, a number of Russian experts refuse to believe that NATO will decide to attack Syria“Syria is, in the military sense, the closest country to Russia in the Middle East, and NATO is unlikely to attack the Syria,” says Vitaly Shlykov, a member of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council.
The president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies, Leonid Ivashov, who traveled to Syria in July and met with President Bashar al-Assad, believes that inviting the Syrian representatives to the military exercises is mainly a geopolitical gesture.“Russia and the CIS are showing that Syria is close to us, and we are showing it, as our partner, political support. The question is whether or not Russia and the CIS are ready to supply Syria with modern weapons, as we are under pressure and the close watch of Tel Aviv, where it is determined what should and should not be supplied to Syria,” noted Ivashov.He believes that in order to teach the Syrians to fight, it is necessary to have modern equipment and to provide professional training on how to use this equipment.