Russia, for example, wants to rebuild Syria’s train network. “Russia built it in the first place, and wants to rebuild this and strategic economic ties,” said independent Russian analyst Vyacheslav Matuzov. “Russia wants … a new Mideast security order,” said Emile Hokayem, Middle East security expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
S-300 and its follow-on systems are some of the most capable and dangerous air defenses an opposing air force could ever face. Not only are the missiles mobile, but the systems are networked together. One S-300 battery is a handful, but several such systems networked together into an integrated air defense system is a nearly insurmountable challenge for most fourth-generation fighters like the F-16 or F-15. The S-300 series is deadly. “A complete game changer for all fourth-gen aircraft [like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18]. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it.”
Britain is significantly stepping up efforts to tackle the dirty money funnelled by Russians and other “corrupt elites” into or through the United Kingdom, a senior police officer said on Friday. “We have significantly scaled up the work that we are doing,” said Donald Toon, Director of Prosperity at Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA). “We are absolutely looking at Russians … but we are not exclusively looking at Russians and Russian assets.”
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday promised to strengthen the army and supply it with new generation weapons, as he travelled to watch Russia’s biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union. “This is the first time our army and fleet have undergone such a difficult and large-scale test,” Putin said in comments published on the Kremlin website.
Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded towns in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province on Saturday, a day after a summit of the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia failed to agree on a ceasefire that would forestall a Russian-backed offensive. Witnesses and rescuers said at least a dozen air strikes hit a string of villages and towns in southern Idlib and the town of Latamneh in northern Hama, where rebels are still in control.
“We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse. We will use them if need be. These are defense systems. What are we going to do with them if not use these defense systems? Are we going to depend on the United States again? We have been demanding them for years, but the answer given to us has been: The [US] Congress is not allowing. We are tired of this,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks broadcast live by private Turkish-language TGRT Haber television news network on June 12.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a ceasefire in the rebel-held region of Idlib in northwest Syria on Friday and said an anticipated government assault on insurgents there could result in a massacre. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Moscow opposed a truce, and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said Syria must regain control over all its territory.