With reports that Russia is likely to unleash a nuclear war with NATO over Turkey shooting down a Russian jet, Moscow is deploying the S-400 defense missile system to the Russian Air Force base in the Syrian province of Latakia.
“S-400 will be deployed on Khmeimim airbase in Syria,” Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday at a Defense Ministry meeting, as reported by RT.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Turkish military shot down the Russian Su-24 in Turkish airspace, triggering a furious response from Moscow and escalating the already hot tensions between NATO and Russia. With Russian President Vladimir Putin warning NATO of “serious consequences,” analysts believe the Kremlin is willing to unleash a nuclear war over the incident.
Russia denies the warplane ever entered Turkey’s airspace, while NATO and U.S. defense officials confirm the Russian jet briefly breached the airspace of the NATO member – Turkey.
The Turkish military claims it downed the Russian jet in Turkish airspace after the warplane was given 10 warnings in five minutes as it approached the NATO member state’s territory. After the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft ignored the warnings, Turkey sent two of its F-16s to bring down the Russian warplane.
“As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally, Turkey,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after an emergency meeting of NATO.
Deployment of S-400s is first step of NATO-Russia war
With analysts saying that Russian is planning to launch a nuclear strike on Turkey as a response for downing of the Russian bomber, the deployment of the S-400 defense missile system appears to be the first step in such plans.
The S-400 system is Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft defense system, according to RT. The deployment of the S-400s would enable the Russian military to destroy aircraft flying at an altitude of up to 3.8 miles and within 372 miles of the base in Latakia on the Syrian coast.
The S-400 advanced system is an upgrade of the S-300 Growler family, designed and developed by Almaz Antei. The missile system is capable of destroying tactical and strategic aircraft as well as ballistic and cruise missiles. The S-400 has a set of missile launchers, radars and command posts and is operated exclusively by the Russians.
Khmeimim airbase in Latakia hosts Russian Air Force squadrons of Su-34 and Su-24 tactical bombers, as well as Su-27SM and Su-30 fighter jets, all of which are taking part in brutal airstrikes against U.S.-backed rebels and ISIS targets in Syria. The airbase is protected by most advanced air defense systems and radars.
Russia orders to destroy any target posing threat on Turkey-Syria border
Shortly after the incident with Turkey downing the Russian jet, Moscow announced it is sending Moskva guided missile cruiser off Latakia coast with an aim to destroy any target that may pose threat, according to RT. Furthermore, the Kremlin is set to beef up Russian air base security in Syria and suspend military cooperation with Ankara.
After Putin called the bombing of the Russian warplane a “crime” and stressed that Moscow will never tolerate it, Russian General Staff representatives announced three steps, which may well be interpreted as preparations for war with NATO.
First of all, Russia’s air defense in Syria will be boosted with Moskva guided missile cruiser off Latakia coast ordered to destroy any target posing threat. Second of all, military contacts with Turkey will be suspended. Third of all, each and every Russia’s strike groups’ operation will be conducted under the guise of fighter jets.
The Turkish military shooting down the Russian jet was “a severe violation of international law,” according to Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, as reported by RT.
The General reiterated that the Russia’s Su-24 was brought down over the Syrian territory, and that the crash site was allegedly over 2 miles away from the Turkish border.
Russia’s brutal response includes nuclear war plans – Russia’s top defense analyst
But was it “absolutely necessary” for Turkey to shoot down the Russian warplane? That’s the question asked by Sir Michael Graydon, former head of the British Royal Air Force (RAF).
“One aircraft was not going to change the course of history and now it probably will. Shooting down the aircraft has caused a monstrous diplomatic problem,” Graydon said in an interview with the Daily Mail, hinting at the high possibility of a nuclear war between NATO and Russia.
But what are the chances that Mr. Putin is going to give a brutal response to the downing of the Russian jet by Turkish forces? According to top Russian military analysts, the chances are very high.
Although Turkey is backed by NATO’s 5th Article, which says that an attack on one NATO member shall be considered an attack on all NATO members, the chances that Mr. Putin is going to start a nuclear war over the Tuesday incident are very “likely,” according to Pavel Felgenhauer, Russia’s most respected defense analyst, as reported by ValueWalk.
Felgengauer said Turkey wants to protect a zone in northern Syria controlled by the Turkmens, Ankara’s allies, while the downing of the Russia’s warplane in Turkish airspace must prompt Mr. Putin to either accept the zone or “start a war with Turkey,” which means unleashing an all-out war with NATO.
And the only way Russia could win a war against NATO is by going nuclear, Felgengauer warned. Russia has a total of 7,500 nuclear weapons, while the U.S. has 7,200 nukes, according to a report published by Ploughshares Fund.
“It is most likely that it will be war,” said Felgenhauer, as reported by Mirror. “In other words, more fights will follow when Russian planes attack Turkish aircraft in order to protect our [Russia’s] bombers. It is possible that there will be fights between the Russian and Turkish navies at sea.”
A nuclear war between NATO and Russia “would probably spell, if not the end of humanity, the end of any possibility of a comfortable future for humanity,” as reported by ValueWalk, citing Press TV’s interview with Don DeBar, U.S. political analyst.