Russia Delivers SS-26 Iskander to Syria to Counter American Patriots
It is becoming more and more clear that Russia can not let Syria go without last ditch efforts. Russian ships recently arrived at Tartus and unloaded up to 26 SS-26 Iskander mobile missiles to counter the American Patriot missiles along the Turkish border.
The Iskander can travel at a speed of over 1.3 miles per second (Mach 6-7) and has a range of over 280 miles with pinpoint accuracy of destroying targets with its 1,500-pound warhead, a nightmare for any missile defense system. The Russian weapon is a new one, coming ready sometime after 2001 and can overcome air defense systems. While that is its main purpose, like many systems, it has many offensive capabilities that Assad could use it for. Each system has two missiles and each can be aimed at different targets. They have several different warheads that can be used: air-fuel, cluster, bunker busting.
This is an obvious response to the US deploying two batteries of Patriots in Turkey. The danger of delivering them now is what will use them for, what happens if one or several of them are captured by the rebels?
More Russian naval ships are in transit to Syria. What is their purpose? Evacuate Russian citizens? Supply Assad with more weapons or more SS-26?