Syria’s supersonic and anti-ship missiles as well as the Lebanese Hezbollah movement will inflict astonishing damage on any invading force, specially the US Navy’s giant warships, an expert said, adding that the missile capability is working as a deterrent to a US naval attack on Syria.
“The supersonic and long-range anti-ship Yakhont missiles of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah (resistance movement) are serious deterrents to a US naval attack by its warships in the Mediterranean Sea,” Dr. Mostafa Zahra, a military analyst and strategic studies expert, told FNA on Monday.
He said that Syria’s Iskandar high-precision ballistic missiles and its anti-ship Scud missiles will also target the US warships in case of a US naval invasion of Syria, reminding that the American military vessels are not equipped with any weapons system to intercept or divert the Syrian anti-ship missiles.
The P-800 Oniks, also known in export markets as Yakhont (in English means ruby or sapphire), is a Russian/Soviet supersonic anti-ship cruise missile developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya as a ramjet version of P-80 Zubr. The missile has a range of 300 kilometers.
Development of Yakhont missiles officially started in 1983, and by 2001 allowed the launch of the missile from land, sea, air and submarines. The missile has the NATO reporting codename SS-N-26. It is reportedly a replacement for the P-270 Moskit, but possibly also for the P-700 Granit.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on August 23 that the Pentagon was positioning military forces as part of “contingency options” provided to US President Barack Obama regarding Syria.
France and the Israeli regime have also called for military action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Hagel’s comments have been interpreted as a tacit suggestion that the US may be preparing for a military strike on Syria. The US defense secretary repeated similar remarks on Sunday during a visit to Malaysia.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a recent interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia that any military intervention by the US would end in “failure”.