Russia upgrades Syria-based electronic station to warn Iran of US/Israeli attack (DEBKAfile) Special Report 02/27/12 11:09 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Russians have upgraded their Jabal Al Harrah electronic and
surveillance station south of Damascus opposite Israel’s Sea of
Galilee, adding resources especially tailored to give Tehran early
warning of an oncoming US or Israeli attack, DEBKAfile’s US military
Before it was boosted by extra advanced technology and manpower, the
station covered civilian and military movements in northern Israel up
to Tel Aviv, northern Jordan and western Iraq. Today, its range
extends to all parts of Israel and Jordan, the Gulf of Aqaba and
northern Saudi Arabia.
Part two of Moscow’s project for extending the range of its Middle
East ears and eyes consisted of upgrading the Russian-equipped Syrian
radar stationed on Lebanon’s Mount Sannine and connecting it to the
Jabal Al Harrah facility in Syria. Russian technicians have completed
this project too. Russia is now able to additionally track US and
Israeli naval and aerial movements in the Eastern Mediterranean up to
and including Cyprus and Greece.
According to our sources, the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral
Kutznetsov’s stay at the Syrian port of Tartus through most of
January and up to mid-February had the special mission of keeping an
eye out for any Israeli preparations for attacking Iran, Syria or
Hizballah. It filled the gap left by the Russian station south of
Damascus which was fully occupied with feeding data on Syrian
opposition movements to Bashar Assad and watching out for signs of
foreign intervention, military or covert, against his regime.
The Russian vessel meanwhile followed increased traffic of US drone
over Syria keeping track of the Syrian arsenal of missiles with
chemical, biological and nerve gas warheads.
Washington disclosed on Feb. 25 that the US State Department had sent
out warnings to six countries, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan and Iraq, to beware of these deadly weapons. It was not clear
whether the warning referred to a possible Assad regime’s decision to
use WMD against those nations or the danger of their transfer to
terrorists embedded within those countries.
Moscow decided to boost its radar tracking and surveillance reach for
Iran’s benefit in response to a complaint from Tehran that it could
not longer count on Russia for a real-time alert on an incoming US or
Israeli military strike, because those resources were stretched to
the limit in support of the Assad regime.
After expanding and upgrading their range to meet Iranian needs by
interconnecting the two stations and adding extra Russian manpower,
Moscow ordered the Admiral Kutznetsov to depart Tartus on Feb. 13 and
sail to home port at Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula. The Russian
stations in Syria and Lebanon were by then ready for their expanded
missions.(Copyright 2000-2012 DEBKAfile. 02/27/12)
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