In a stark warning to the United States, a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, Major-General Igor Konashekov, said Russia may shoot down US planes attempting to launch airstrikes in Syria.
“I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to thoroughly consider the possible consequences of the realization of such plans,” Konashenkov said.
Konshenkov noted Russia has deployed advanced S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to its bases in Syria. He said the range of the missiles “can be a surprise for any unidentified flying objects.”
The defense minister said advance technology employed by the United State would be no match for the Russian missiles. “The illusions of dilettantes about the existence of ‘stealth’ aircraft may encounter a disappointing reality,” he warned.
Military experts say the S-400 SAM, known as the “Triumf” in Russia, is the most capable and lethal long-range air defense missile system on the planet. It has a maximum speed around Mach 12, or close to 20,000 miles per hour, making a “no escape” zone for US aircraft likely, according to the Defense Media Network.
The remarks follow the suspension of talks between the United States and Russia. On Monday the US accused the Russians of colluding with the Syrians in the effort to retake the jihadi occupied city of Aleppo.
Earlier this week it was reported top national security officials in the Obama administration were are considering targeting the government of Bashar al-Assad.
On Wednesday the proposal was bumped up to the Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet-level officials, and it is expected the National Security Council will consider options this weekend.
The discussions follow a Deputies Committee meeting at the White House last week. During the meeting officials from the State Department, the CIA, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed military strikes to force al-Assad to stop his military campaign against jihadi proxies supported by the CIA and the Gulf Emirates.
On Thursday Syria announced it has made significant gains in Aleppo. “An army unit in cooperation with the supporting forces carried out a ‘swift’ operation against the fortified sites of the terrorist organizations in Bustan al-Basha neighborhood in Aleppo city,” state-run SANA news agency reported.
The Washington Post characterized the Syrian effort as a war on civilians in Aleppo where the Syrian army has made recent strides in regaining control.
Specific options considered by the United States are classified.
The Post, however, cited an administration official as saying they would include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represented in the Deputies Committee meeting by Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva, support a “kinetic” option, the newspaper reported.
The US plan to attack Syrian defense forces and establish a no-fly zone in Syria portends a significant escalation and the prospect of direct combat between the United States and Russia.
“American politicians and media are calling for military action against Russian-Syrian forces, in particular, imposition of a ‘no-fly zone,’ which would almost certainly lead to war with Russia,” writesStephen F. Cohen.
The establishment media is in lockstep with the government in demonizing Russian president Vladimir Putin and calling for an escalation of hostilities.
“The Times and Washington Post, for example, publish articles and editorials, one after the other, declaring Putin to be an ‘outlaw’ and ‘rogue’ leader unfit to be an American partner on any front. In the mainstream, no one proposes or is permitted to propose—any rethinking of US policies that may have contributed to this dire situation,” Cohen adds.
If the National Security Council this weekend green lights a plan to attack the Syrian army directly, we can expect a war with Russia and all the horrific consequences that will undoubtedly entail.
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