SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 20, 2019: RUSSIA GAVE SYRIA ‘GREEN LIGHT’ TO USE S-300

South Front

On September 19, the Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down an unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the town of Aqraba, south of Damascus. Pro-government sources claim that the intercepted UAV was likely operated by Israel.

On August 25, two Hezbollah members were killed by Israeli strikes in the same area. These strikes and the incident with Israeli drones in Beirut led to a local escalation between Hezbollah and the Israeli military at the Lebanese-Israeli contact line on September 1. Since then and until September 19, the situation around Damascus and in southern Lebanon have remained relatively calm.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated militant coalition Wa Harid al-Muminin announced that its forces had shelled positions of the Syrian Army near the area of al-Mashari’a. In a separate development, Idlib militants shelled the Abu al-Duhur humanitarian corridor with mortars in an attempt to prevent civilians from leaving the militant-held area.

On September 18, the joint Russia-Syria Coordination Center on Refugee Repatriation announced that work to resettle refugees from the Rukban camp the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf will begin late on September 27. During the last two years, the camp was in a constant state of humanitarian crisis due to the lack of aid, clean water and food. Nonetheless, the US-led coalition and coalition-backed militants sabotaged previous attempts to evacuate civilians from it.

Russia has given Syria a green light to use the S-300 missile defense system against Israeli targets, according to reports in Russian media citing own sources. Reports claim that the Syrian military received permission to use its air defense systems in response to Israeli actions. However, in this case the Syrian side would bear full responsibility for such a move.

Since the start of the week, positions of Iranian-backed forces near al-Bukamal have come under at least two aerial attacks that are commonly attributed by Israel. Some mainstream media speculated that the September 18 strike may have been delivered by the Saudi Air Force. However, this version was immediately denounced by Saudi Arabia itself.

SYRIAN ARMY INTERCEPTS ARMED, BOOBY-TRAPPED DRONE NEAR ISRAELI-OCCUPIED GOLAN HEIGHTS (PHOTOS)

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) brought down on September 21 a large quad-copter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the separation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the army was able to take control of the hostile UAV and land it once it reached the town of Erneh, 8km north of the separation line. Electronic warfare means were apparently used to control the UAV.

“While inspecting and disassembling the UAV by specialized engineer teams, it became clear that it was armed with submunitions on top of being booby-trapped with a C4 explosive charge, in order to prevent its dismantling and protect its secrets,” a security source told the SANA.

The state-run agency said that the UAV came from the western direction. The SAA controls the entire region, while Hezbollah controls the nearby Lebanese villages. This suggest that the UAV came from the Israeli-occupied areas in northwestern Golan.

Photos of the UAV reveal that it was armed with two small-diameter submunitions, both equipped with a parachute.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Last month, two quad-copters equipped with explosive devices attacked a center of Hezbollah in Beirut’s Southern Suburb. The incident was blamed on Israel, which appears to be using such drones in its covert operations.

SYRIAN ARMY SHOOTS DOWN ARMED DRONE NEAR HELICOPTER BASE IN NORTHWESTERN HAMA

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shot down on September 21 an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that attempted to attack its positions in northwestern Hama.

Local sources said that the UAV was shot down near the town of Jubb Ramlah. The drone was reportedly armed with several munitions.

The UAV was likely heading to attack a large helicopter base of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) to the west of Jubb Ramlah. The base has been supporting the SAA’s operations in Greater Idlib for months now.

Syrian Army Shoots Down Armed Drone Near Helicopter Base In Northwestern Hama

Click to see full-size image. Via Google Earth.

No side has claimed responsibility for the failed attack, so far. However, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is known for manufacturing and operating this kind of armed UAVs.

The failed attack is a violation of the current ceasefire. Such provocations could force the SAA to resume its ground offensive in Greater Idlib.

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