Israel Air Force chief: Russian S-300 missiles en route to Assad

Maj. Gen Eshel stresses ‘military faces real scenario of confrontation on multiple fronts’, saying Syria’s arming ‘will produce confidence & aggressive behavior’.

Yoav Zitun

Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel said Wednesday that S-300 advanced missile defense system will soon land in the hands of the Syrian army.

Amir Eshel Photo: Ofer Amram

Amir Eshel – Photo: Ofer Amram

Speaking at a convention in Herzliya, Eshel added “there is a clear understanding that such capabilities will produce confidence and aggressive behavior.”

“Aerial superiority is a condition to win and win quickly, and is of great strategic importance. The other side understands that well, which is why Assad, with his low budget, has invested billions into purchasing antiaircraft missiles.”

“It’s not just our problem. The challenge that is developing in the north did not start yesterday and there isn’t a challenge that has no solution,” the air force chief noted, adding that Syria could collapse soon and different forces could get hold of Assad’s armory.

“This does not mean we will act, but it means we must be ready with our planes and missile defense systems. No one is going to tell us ‘take two weeks to prepare for the war.’ We will have to be ready for confrontations in Gaza and Lebanon, including long-range ones. Failure to prepare for this would mean a failure to learn the lessons of the Yom Kippur War.”

Eshel asserted that “Today, a war can develop in many ways, including single incidents that will force us to activate the entire air force within hours. In 2013, a war can be won, but there aren’t any triumphant knockouts anymore.”

He warned against an “overreliance on technology. Those who think we’ll just press ‘Enter’ and win the war are wrong. There won’t be a recipe for the next war. We’ll have to learn to deal with failures and surprises.”

Gantz

Also Wednesday, IDF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Benny Gantz said: “In light of the region’s instability, the military faces a real scenario of a confrontation on multiple fronts, and is in a new resource reality which could change it completely.”

Gantz added: “We are committed to act positively, efficiently and with maximum coordination to ensure victory in any future campaign and quickly win any confrontation.”

On Tuesday, Gantz said: “If Assad destabilizes the Golan Heights, he will pay a heavy price.”

Gantz vehemently denied that the IDF jeep hit Tuesday had in fact entered into the Syrian side of the Golan – as Syria had claimed – adding that “the patrol was most definitely traveling along the Syrian border fence, but it did not infiltrate into Syrian territory; that is nonsense.” “The patrol was fired at once, then a second time and a third time, all of which undoubtedly from the Syrian post.”

 

View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4383048,00.html

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