by: Yoav Zitun, Itay Blumenthal and Daniel Salami
Tuesday, 10 December 2019 | Two Russian Su-35 fighter jets on Saturday thwarted an Israeli airstrike on the T-4 airbase in southern Syria, causing the Israeli craft to return to base, the Russian military aviation blog AVIA.PRO reported on Monday.
The blog also reported that the Israeli attack had been planned against an advanced weapons shipment from Iran to the airbase, which included advanced air defense systems.
As of now, the location of these air defense systems is unknown. However, since most of the airstrikes attributed to Israel have taken place on the outskirts of Damascus (in the area of its international airport) or on the Syria–Iran border, the report said, it is undeniable that the Iranian-made system is now located within those two areas.
The report further stated that the system might have middle to long-distance aerial capabilities.
The report comes in light of an additional shipment Sunday en route from Tehran to T-4. A day earlier, an Iranian Boeing 747 used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps also arrived in Damascus from Tehran.
In the past, a similar aircraft, which is currently under repair, has transferred fighting equipment to Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah.
Israel has reportedly on several occasions attacked these shipments after they arrived in Syria.
According to foreign sources, the T-4 airbase stores Iranian-made parts for drones and is used as a transit point for weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In recent times, the Iranians have increased their shipments and presence in the area, with a rise in the number of various militant groups in the area, from about 30,000 militiamen to 40,000 militiamen over the last year.
Some of these militias are operated by the Al-Quds Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and have in the past launched several rockets towards Israel.
Posted on December 10, 2019
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