The Turkish propaganda is on offensive in an attempt to compensate military setbacks in the Syrian region of Greater Idlib with entertaining videos and victorious statements.
On March 9, one of the Turkish outlets participating in this campaign released an interesting video showing Turkish drone footage filmed in northwestern Syria. The video shows Pantsir, Tor and S-125 Pechora systems operated by the Syrian Air Defense Forces.
Countries pay top dollar for Russian-made short/medium range air defense systems. Are they really effective? pic.twitter.com/lph4jV8y7P
— Clash Report (@clashreport) March 9, 2020
The video provides overestimated unit costs for the filmed systems and claims that they do not work. For example, the Pantsir unit cost provided by the video is $50 million, while in reality the export cost of a single Pantsir is approximately $14 million. As to the Soviet-era S-125 Pechora, the video states that it costs $35 million. In reality, the Pechora unit cost (with possible modernization) is about $10 million. Impressive $75 million per a system for the Tor is also far from the reality. The real price is about $25 million.
It also remains unclear when the shown footage was filmed. Excluding the recent Idlib escalation in which Turkey took a knock and failed to achieve any of military goals declared by its own top political and military leadership, Turkish drones are allowed to freely operate in the area of the ‘de-escalation zone’ to monitor the ceasefire.
Therefore, the provided footage could easily been filmed before or after the active phase of Ankara’s Operation Spring Shield. If the video was filmed during the escalation, it remains unclear why Turkish forces did not bomb the systems that played an important role in the Syrian Army’s ability to repel the attack by the Turkish Army and al-Qaeda terrorists.
Taking into account that Turkish media already published the destruction of the Pantsir-S1 system operated by the Libyan National Army in Libya (where Turkey also failed to achieve the formally declared goal – to defeat the Libyan National Army) claiming that this happened in Syria, the lack of details in the recent video on the same topic leads to reasonable questions.
While no defense or attack system is a ‘silver bullet’ by itself, it’s quite funny how Turkish state media and affilated organziations are now trying to mock the Russian air defense technology that the Turkish leadership recently bought at a high price (the S-400 deal). Probably, various branches of the Turkish propaganda machine should contribute a bit more attention to the coordination of their efforts.
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