Syria to Transfer SA-22 to Hezbollah, Through Wagner

According to US intelligence leaks, the Syrian government has possibly already transferred at least one SA-22/GREYHOUND surface-to-air missile/ air defense artillery system to Hezbollah through Wagner.

The source indicates that the U.S. Intelligence Community is tracking the transfer, but did not disclose where the system is.

The SA-22/GREYHOUND is a road-mobile wheeled air defense system which fires the 57E6-E (export variant) short range anti-air missile. It also has two dual 2A38M 30 mm (1.2 in) autocannon guns to engage precision-guided munitions and low-flying aircraft. This system is the premier short-range air defense (SHORAD) system for the Russian military and has been deployed in defense of their forces in Tartus Syria since 2016.

If Hezbollah were to receive the system, and the appropriate training/logistics, the group would be a much more potent threat to Israeli aircraft which have killed more than 50 fighters on the Israeli-Lebanese border since October 7th, 2023.

This transfer would also be a significant breach of neutrality for President Putin who would certainly have to sign off on the transfer. However, by using Wagner group, Putin can claim plausible deniability.

Russian forces have neglected to protect Syrian positions in Damascus, Aleppo, and even near Tartus with these systems as Israeli aircraft target Iranian-backed militant positions. This transfer may signal an end to Russian neutrality in that conflict.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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