Antiwar News

Russia Deploys Air Defenses to Syria-Turkey Border

by Jason Ditz

Fuming at the Turkish attack on and destruction of their Su-24 bomber in Syrian airspace, Russia has announced the deployment of significant new air defense equipment to the Syria-Turkey border, including the Moskva guided-missile cruiser, which will park off the coast of Latakia to destroy any “target that may pose danger.”

The Moskva is equipped with anti-aircraft missiles and an air defense system similar to the S-300 systems that are already deployed in some parts of Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry says they are going to cut military contact with Turkey as well in protest over the attack.

The biggest move, however, is likely to be Russia’s announcement that future bombing runs in northern Syria are going to include escorts of fighter jets, a move that is likely to dissuade hasty attacks on the bombers in future incidents along the border.

Turkey maintains that the Russian plane crossed the border, but US officials say they can’t confirm that this was the case, and that the plane was definitely inside Syrian airspace when Turkey attacked it.