The sources said that the Syrian air defense forces have deployed several heavily-modified S-125 Pechora batteries (a Soviet-designed system originally built in the 1960s) to the Marj Ruhayyil airbase South of Damascus city.
The modernized variant in question is reportedly the M2 version of the S-125 Pechora, which in addition to having an improved kill probability record, is technically capable of tracking and intercepting low-flying cruise missiles.
The upgrading of the Marj Ruhayyil base’s local air defense network is likely a response to the increased number of air attacks carried out by Israeli warplanes against Syrian military assets in the province of Damascus and neighboring regions over the course of 2017.
A Russian media outlet reported last week that the army’s artillery units were using modernized Russia-made Shilka autocannons to hit the stronghold of terrorist groups in Southwestern Damascus.
The Arabic-language website of Russia’s state news agency, Sputnik, reported that the army’s artillery units were using ZU-23 cannons that were mounted on armored vehicles to target terrorists’ positions in Beit Jinn and Mughur al-Mir in Southwestern Damascus.
It added that the terrorists’ heavy counter-attacks made the army men use ZSU-23 autocannons known as Shilka to target accurately the terrorists’ positions.