Israel closely watches the whereabouts of the new S-300 surface to air missile system, delivered by Russia to Syria last month, Defense-Update reports.
An Israeli spy satellite has spotted their location northwest of the town of Masyaf in the mountain region, about 30 km from the Mediterranean sea. From its current location, the Syrian missiles dominate a radius of up to 250 kilometers, covering the entire Lebanese airspace, the eastern part of the island of Cyprus, parts of southern Turkey and northern Israel, down to the Sea of Galilee.
The Israeli satellite images acquired earlier today indicate four S-300 launchers are currently deployed in the newly constructed post, while additional elements are still missing. According to an intelligence analysis report provided Imagesat International, the Syrian S-300 is not currently operational. The newly arrived unit is deployed within 1.3 km distance of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile site at Maysaf. Currently, it is not clear whether the new site is controlled by Syria or Russia.
Elements of the S-300 unit, mainly launchers, arrived at Hmeimim airfield by the end of last month. Satellite imagery provided by Imagesat show these elements deployed at a temporary site near the airfield, while construction was underway at the permanent site. This location is designed with earthwork revetments typical of surface-to-air missile posts. These elements were likely moved to the recently spotted Maysaf location by the third week of October.
According to Russian sources the S-300 will be controlled by Russian operators until the Syrian crews are trained, a process the Israelis estimate could take until March 2019. These operators possibly share the existing facilities of the Russian S-400 unit located nearby. Even after the Syrians are fully trained, it is likely that Russian controllers will continue embedding with the Syrian crews.