On 15 January 2020, the Israeli military bombed and destroyed a Pantsir-S air defence system (ADS) after its Syrian operator left behind a mobile phone providing a lead to the location of the ADS, a top official of the Russian manufacturer has admitted in an interview with TASS news agency.
Information of the Pantsir-S system’s destruction emerged in an Israeli MoD video detailing the bombing of the system last month.
Valery Slugin, the chief designer of the Design Bureau of Instrument Engineering which developed the Pantsir system, said in an January 29 interview with TASS detailed how the ADS came to be exposed itself to detection. The Pantsir-S battery had run out of missiles and had called for re-supply. The operators were waiting a little distance away from the system and one of them had left his mobile phone in the operator’s chair which was sufficient for Israeli intelligence to track the system.
The standard operating procedure for such a system is that all forms of ground communications (mobiles, radios) should be switched off during an operation and that the battery should move away from the last spot it fired a missile from, he said.
Israeli jets have attacked the main T4 airbase in Homs province, the Syrian army said, adding that Israel had caused material damage and destruction of an ADS.
Israel in the past has said Iran uses the T4 base to transfer weapons to Hezbollah, Western intelligence sources say it has also been used as a base for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
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