Syrian air-defense systems intercepted two out of eight missiles launched by Israeli fighter jets during the recent attack on the northwestern suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus, Vadim Kulit, deputy chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, revealed on October 30, according to the TASS news agency.
“On October 30 from 12.25 to 12.28, four F-16 tactical fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force fired eight Delilah guided missiles from their territory near the Golan Heights, without entering Syrian airspace, at the Syrian air defense facilities located 20 kilometers west and 12 kilometers northwest of Damascus. The Syrian air defense forces on duty destroyed two missiles with the Buk-M2E surface-to-air missile system,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement quoting Kulit.
According to the Russian officer, the attack resulted in minor damage to infrastructure. Two Syrian service members were also wounded.
The Buk is a medium-range air-defense system that was designed to counter cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Russian statement contradicts the official Syrian account of the attack. A Syrian military source told the state-run news agency that the attack was carried out with ground-to-ground missiles.
The IMI Delilah missile, described by some experts as a loitering munition, can be launched from air as well as from the ground. This may be the cause of the contradiction between the Russian and Syrian statements.
The unique missile weighs only 187 kg. Yet, it has a stand-off range of 250 km. The missile is equipped with a combined GPS\ Inertial navigation system as well as a CCD\thermal imaging seeker. The missile’s warhead weighs only 30 kg.
Some Israeli and Arab sources claim that the Israeli attack on Damascus targeted an Iranian weapons shipment that was on its way to Hezbollah in Lebanon. This is yet to be confirmed, however.