Russian has reportedly deployed a long-range air-defense system in al-Tabqah Air Base in Syria’s northeastern region.
On November 11, a photo showing two transporter erector launchers (TEL) of the system, identified by some as an S-300, in the air base surfaced online.
Al-Tabqah Air Base, which is located in the southern countryside of Raqqa, is held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Russian and Syrian government forces were deployed in the air base in October 2019 to help monitor a ceasefire between the Kurdish-led group and Turkish forces in northeastern Syria.
At Tabqa Airbase seems Russians put S300 pic.twitter.com/6GzSIQU199
— CM (@CaricaMil) November 11, 2021
The system deployed in the air base may be a Russian S-400, which uses similar TELs, an S-300 PM2 or even one of the Syrian S-300PMU2 systems which was supplied by Russia around two years ago.
From al-Tabqah Air Base, a long-range air-defense system like the S-300PMU2 can cover most of northeastern Syria, including the northern Raqqa countryside and the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.
Earlier this month, several sources reported that Russia is preparing to deploy an S-400 long-range air-defense system in northeastern Syria, specifically in al-Qamishli Airport in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah. If these reports are true, the systems deployed in both al-Tabqah Air Base and al-Qamishli Airport will be more than able to cover all of northeastern Syria airspace.
A Russian air defense net over northeastern Syria will for sure deter Turkey, who is reportedly planning to launch a new offensive in the region against the SDF. This will make the SDF more reliant on Moscow’s support.