Israeli satellite uncovers launchers for Russian nuclear-capable missiles in Syria



A vehicle transports the Russian Iskander-M ballistic missile system. (Illustrative photo.) Credit: Vitaliy Ragulin via Wikimedia Commons.

( Israel’s Eros B satellite has uncovered two Russian ground-to-ground SS-26 Iskander missile launchers in Syria’s Latakia air base, which is also used by the Russian Air Force. 

Israel-based ImageSat International, which operates the satellite, said that the launchers were hidden under camouflage nets, but recent heavy rains in the region forced the Russians to move the launchers out from underneath the nets and therefore exposed them to the satellite, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. Additionally, two other vehicles that are part of the Iskander system were spotted in the area.

“This revelation approves several unconfirmed reports of the Iskander presence in Syria and uncovers the system’s deployment site,” ImageSat said.

The Iskander missiles are capable of carrying a nuclear payload with a range of 400-500 kilometers (249-311 miles). 

According to the report, both Syria and Iran have asked the Russians to sell them the missile system, but Russia has so far refused their requests at Israel’s insistence. Israel is also concerned that the missiles could be stolen from Russia and given to the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. The report also said that Russia likely put the missiles in Syria as a deterrent against Western military intervention.

Posted on January 6, 2017 .