As Hizbollah fighters aptly humiliated the Merkava (Israel’s main battle tank) during the 2006 war on Lebanon and turned the pride of the Israeli military into a junk being treaded upon in the dust of the Lebanese al-Hujair Valley (Wadi al-Hujair) in the famous battle, Syria’s air defense people dealt a similarly humiliating blow to the best US-made jet fighter.
This has happened when Syrian air defenses fired an S-200 missile at an attacking US-made F-35 Israeli warplane and hit it while flying in the Lebanese air space on October 16, 2017, ending thereby the future of this “state of the art” plane before it has even started. Back then, Israel claimed that all of its planes have returned to their bases safely after having struck a Syrian missile platform. It even warned the Syrians against ‘daring’ again to disrupt the ‘routine tourist Israeli air sorties’ in the regional air spaces. Yet, it denied that any of its planes were hit, contradicting thereby Syria’s announcement about the encounter. However, on the next day, the Israelis admitted that one of their seven F-35 warplanes has collided with a flying bird and is no longer capable of flying again pending repairs. Israel has had a contract with the US to get 50 F-35 fighters, but only 7 of them have been delivered so far.
Something seems to be not quite well with this story. On the very day, when Israel said that a bird has collided with the world’s state of the art F-35, the Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu arrived in Israel on a surprise visit that was not previously announced – that is not so common in international relations.
It seems that the visit was not a coincidence at all. Both the Israelis and the Americans knew well that the scandal would be huge: Theplane they boast about as the best and finest in the world is being hit by an old and outdated Russian missile!! So, they decided to tell the Russians that they have no intention to escalate with the Syrians, but they have something to say and the Russians should rather listen to what they have to say. Shoigu was most probably eager to assess how much anger the shocking confrontation with the Russian weapons has triggered among Americans and Israelis. Some analysts said that the Israelis have communicated their fury to the Russians because they believe that such an incident has taken place with Russia’s consent in contradiction with their mutual coordination agreement. They even went further to claim that Israel views such an incident as a Russian provocation and as a breach of valid agreements. Some voices went as far as claiming that US arms manufacturers would retaliate by supplying Syrian insurgents with anti-aircraft MANPADS to shoot Russian aircraft out of the sky. According to some Russian sources, the Russians calmed down the Israeli fears, knowing how shocked they were to see the symbol of their future air powerbeing shot down in the early days of its flying. Shoigu was aware of how deep their plight is. The Israeli nightmare was no longer S200. It was S-300 acquired by the Syrians. Because this would mean that in any potential confrontation, the Syrians would be able to impose a no-fly zone of the entire airspace of occupied Palestine in its entirety. S300 missiles are capable of shooting down any plane upon take off from Israeli airports while still within the “Israeli” airspace.
The Israel threats made no sense to Shoigu because the Russian Aerospace technology is now developed enough not to worry about the MANPADS. Moreover, such threats may backfire, because they may prompt Russia to provide Hizbollah with some sophisticated weapons capable of shaking Israel off in a tit-for-tat, i.e. to respond to the threat with a retaliatory threat.
Shoigu urged for wisdom and said that Russians and Israelis should not be lured into a precarious game of challenge and provocations. He also maintained that Russia has nothing to do with the downing of the Israeli warplane, because the missiles were fired by Syrian officers who do not take their orders from Russia. Moreover, the Israelis should venture into sending some “technically immature planes that the Syrians can shoot down.
The story was almost dying out. But Western media began to “leak” some bitter facts and admission little by little. Western Media spoke with alarm about some reports published by few Russian Military sites, including South Front, which revealed for the first time the secret Israel was hiding:
F-35 has sustained the gravest plight and defeat in its first confrontation with the Russian fire power. What is scandalous in this confrontation is that S200 missile is an old-fashioned missile introduced into the Russian arsenal in the 1960s. The site ridiculed as nonsense the story of a “bird colliding with the state of the art warplane and challenged the Israelis to show a photo of this “bird collision” incident or of the plane allegedly hit by a flying “bird”. Why would not the Israelis show us a photo of this bird-collided plane? So we would be able to examine it and verify the truth. Where is this plane which has been rendered unserviceable? Show us a photo to silence rumors, the site skeptically commented. It seems that the secret Israel was trying to hide is no longer a secret. The alleged “bird” which hit the plane has no feather at all. It is a metal body designed in the form of a missile. It is an S-200 missile that was fired by the Syrian Arab Army. So, they would communicate the “bad news” to the Western public a bit by a bit. They tried first cast doubts on the news by saying that it was just Russian rumors and by claiming that they could not verify the “bad news”.
However, a Russian expert would not dismiss the possibility that Russia has a full recording of the entire encounter. He thinks that the Israelis would not out-rightly deny the news because they have fallen in such a trap before. Earlier, Hizbollah used to announce a certain big operation and Israel would vehemently deny it, thinking that nothing with disprove its lies. Then Hizbollah would come forward with a video recording and documenting the operation to embarrass the “invincible Army” and leave its officials pale and sweating with anger as they watch the embarrassing video.
Waiting for AvichaiAdraee, the “Arab rebels’ friend”, to calm down the fears of his rebel friends and tell them that the miserable collapse of F-35 reputation is a mere mysterious ‘mishap’ and “that Israel is still strong and would retaliate to Syria if she dared to repel Israeli aggression” !!
The source: watanipress