The deployment of the highly advanced Russian S-400 anti-air missiles at the Khmeimin base, Russia’s military enclave in Syria near Latakia, combined with Russia electronic jamming and other electronic warfare equipment, has effectively transformed most of Syria into a no-fly zone under Russian control.
Moscow deployed the missiles last Wednesday, Nov. 25, the day after Turkish warplanes downed a Russian Su-24. Since then, the US and Turkey have suspended their air strikes over Syria, including bombardments of Islamic State targets. The attacks on ISIS in Iraq continue without interruption. Turkey is now extra-careful to avoid flights anywhere near the Syrian border.
Both the US and Turkey are obviously wary of risking their planes being shot down by the S-400, so long as Russian-Turkish tensions run high over the Su-24 incident.
Friday, a US-led coalition spokesperson denied that the absence of anti-IS coalition air strikes had anything to do with the S-400 deployment in Syria. He said “The fluctuation or absence of strikes in Syria reflects the ebb and flow of battle.”
However, debkafile’s military sources confirm that neither the US, Turkey or Israel have any real experience in contending with the Russian S-400, which uses multiple missile variants to shoot down stealth aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles and sub-strategic ballistic missiles. Its operational range for aerodynamic targets is about 250 km and for ballistic targets 60 km. The S-400 can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously.
Thei [sic] range covers at least three-quarters of Syrian territory, a huge part of Turkey, all of Lebanon, Cyprus and half of Israel.
Full article: Russian S-400 missiles turn most of Syria into no-fly zone, halt US air strikes (DEBKAfile)