Russia’s completion this month of an integrated air defense system in Syria has made an Obama administration decision to strike Syrian government installations from the air.
It is even less likely than it has been for years, and has created a substantial obstacle to the Syrian safe zones both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have advocated
By placing the missiles as a threat “against military action” by other countries in Syria, Russia has raised “the stakes of confrontation,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday.
While there is some disagreement among military experts as to the capability of the Russian systems, particularly the newly deployed S-300,
“the reality is, we’re very concerned anytime those are emplaced,”
a U.S. Defense official said. Neither its touted ability to counter U.S. stealth technology, or to target low-flying aircraft, has ever been tested by the United States.
“It’s not like we’ve had any shoot at an F-35,” the official said of the next-generation U.S. fighter jet.
“We’re not sure if any of our aircraft can defeat the S-300.”