The Rapture Report – 10/7/2018 – Russia completes delivery of S-300 missile system to Syria
By Chris Schang
After the recent flare up between Israel and Russia over the downing of a Russian spy plane off the coast of Syria, things seem to be going downhill in relations between these two countries. They are currently at the lowest point in a long time. While Israel insisted that Syria was solely responsible for shooting down the Russian military plane the Russians have remained steadfast in singling Israel out as being the responsible party. Despite Israel’s claims that their fighter planes were back in Israeli airspace when the strike occurred against the Russian spy plane, Russia has disputed and insisted that the Israelis were using the plane as a “shield” against the Syrians. Russia went as far as to suggest “criminal negligence” in the matter and they issued strong accusations against the IDF as a result. There were 15 Russian service members who lost their lives over the coast of Syria as a result.
In retaliation for the incident, Russia promised to supply Syria with the advanced S-300 missile system in order to protect Russian interests in the region. The Russian S-300 missile system is one of the most advanced in the world. The Assad regime welcomed this development as did other hostile forces to Israel. This development on the ground will increase the challenge for the Israelis in regards to their operational ability to the north of the country and in Syria.
Over the past week it is being reported that Russia has indeed completed the delivery of the S-300 system to Syria. The Russians reportedly used their largest military transport aircraft known as the Antonov An-124 Ruslan strategic airlift jet in order to move the system into Syria. The operation was completed at night at the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria.
The Jerusalem Post reports this development:
“The Russian Defense Ministry published video Tuesday night of the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Syria. Aired by Rossiya 23 TV channel it showed the launcher, radar and command and control vehicle of the advanced air-to-surface missile system launcher being unloaded from a military transport plane. “We have completed the delivery of S-300 systems. It included 49 pieces of equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by Russia’s TASS News Agency. The unloading from an Antonov An-124 Ruslan strategic airlift jet took place at night at the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria. Shoigu said Russia successfully delivered the S-300s to Syria on Tuesday as a response to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane over Syria last month.”
Russia’s justification for moving the S-300 system into Syria against Israeli objections were made in the article here:
“In conformity with the presidential decision, we have begun to carry out a number of measures to reinforce Syria’s air defense systems in order to ensure better protection for our servicemen,” he was quoted by TASS during a Russian security council meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin. Following the downing of the jet, Moscow announced it would supply Syria with the advanced S-300 missile defense system and impose electronic countermeasures over Syria’s coastline. Those countermeasures would suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory. “We have finished personnel recruitment and have begun to train them,” said Shoigu, adding that it would take the Syrian army at least three months to learn how to use the system.
Israel for their part have taken note of the delivery of the S-300 system and while it will present challenges for them, the IAF commanders are sure that they will be able to handle the additional challenge going forward. The IAF was on record stating:
Last week, an Israeli official was quoted by Israeli media as saying that the advanced anti-aircraft system was “a complicated challenge” for Israel, but that the Jewish state was “dealing with it in different ways, not necessarily by preventing the delivery.” According to foreign reports, Israeli pilots have already trained to defeat the system, training in Greece and Cyprus where the system has been operating since the late 1990s. The Israel Air Force also has the F-35i Adir stealth fighter jets, which are able to operate undetected deep inside enemy territory, as well as evade advanced missile defense systems like the advanced Russian-made S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems. “The operational abilities of the air force are such that those (S-300) batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act,” Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio on Wednesday.
“You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries are not even able to detect them,” he said referring to the F-35i Adir jets. Israel has admitted to having carried out 200 strikes in Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in the past year and half and is suspected of carrying out hundreds of others. “We have clarified to the Syrians more than once that we will not step back from our commitment to prevent Iran’s entrenchment in Syria,” Hanegbi said, adding a veiled threat to take action against the S-300 on the ground: “We were already forced, a few months ago, to destroy Syrian missile batteries, and I hope they won’t challenge us in the future.”
In regards to all of this, I am not surprised that Russia took the route that they did with blaming Israel instead of Syria. Russia doesn’t appear to want to do anything to strain their relationship with Assad and Syria. This is because Russia has long dreamed of a “warm water port” capability for their military. Syria provides them with this. While the news reported that Putin was so angry at Assad that he did not return his phone calls. While I believe that the Russians behind the scenes let Syria have it, the “in front of the camera” version was that this was all of Israel’s fault.
I believe that Russia may have decided to bring the S-300 system into Syria as punishment to the Israelis in that they know that it will make life more complicated for them. I’m not sure if Russia really believes the story they are trying to sell the media or if they are just trying to save face back home in the motherland. This situation with the downing of the Russian military plane was extremely embarrassing for the Russians. This is not the first time Russia has had to deal with a particularly embarrassing military situation as it was not long ago that Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet.
In trying to piece together in how this could all effect Bible prophecy and the coming Ezekiel 38-39 scenario, I am wondering if the deployment of the S-300 missile system could be one of the “foundation blocks” that are used to build confidence among the Ezekiel 38-39 allies as they move knowingly or unknowingly toward their eventual fatal move on Israel. This I do not know, but if there was ever a “crisis” to be used in order to do so, then this is one that Russia capitalized on in order to try to change the “calculus” on the ground as it involves Israel and her enemies. Russia is for their part trying to setup a de-conflict mechanism with the Israelis to ensure that nothing happens again after the arrival of the S-300 system. So, I am not sure if any “evil thoughts” might be in the making at this point. But we do know that some day “Gog” of the land of Magog (Russia) will get an “evil thought” about invading the land of Israel “for a spoil” in the end times as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel thousands of years ago. In the current situation on the ground in Syria, we have the “Big 3” of Russia, Iran, and Turkey all operating in Syria which is north of Israel, the exact place where the prophet Ezekiel foretells that this attempted invasion will originate. Israel’s discovery and development of oil and natural gas is also threatening Russia’s energy stronghold on Europe. Everyday it seems that Israel gets more economically powerful and thus making itself a potential “target” to her enemies including Russia.
While this “real world” situation looks very “gloom and doom” for Israel given a secular view and that Russia has been thrown into the equation, we know from the words of the prophet Ezekiel that they will be defeated by the supernatural intervention of the God of Israel. God will once again make himself known to the nations as he defends Israel, not for their sake, but for the sake of His holy name that shall be magnified to the world. While we know that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled exactly as God has foretold in the Bible, the timing of the prophecy is not exactly known except that it is in the latter days or end times in which we live. We can see the positioning of the players on the world stage we would do well to remain alert and sober. Keep your eyes and ears focused on the Middle East because as soon as you blink, something could happen. With all that is going on in the world, we should also be looking up for the blessed hope and the promise of the pre-tribulation rapture of the church.
These are very exciting times in which we live, keep looking up! Also, please pray for the salvation of the Jewish people and for the peace of Jerusalem.