IAF F-16
IAF F-16Israel news photo: Flash 90

The reported IAF strike in the Latakia region of Syria on October 31 targeted an advanced Russian-made missile system that could be upgraded to the much-vaunted S-300 system, reports IsraelDefense, citing researcher Ronen Solomon.

Satellite photos of the site, on Syria's northern Mediterranean coastline, prove that the alleged IAF strike targeted S-125s that were in the process of being upgraded from a less sophisticated system. The photos were taken a few hours before the site was hit, by a firm providing satellite services to the US defense system.

IsraelDefense says that the reason the site was comprehensively photographed at that time could be that Israel gave the US advance warning that it was about to bomb it.

Solomon said that the batteries were apparently being upgraded from M2 or K2 generation systems. These changes make the system mobile and improve various abilities, making it effective in intercepting crusie missiles, certain ballistic missiles and US-made F-16 fighters.

In the past, notes IsraelDefense, when the Russians suuplied other countries with S-300 systems, they did so by upgrading existing S-75 or S-125 systems. Therefore, it is possible that the intent was to turn the missiles in Latakia into S-300 systems.