Do you know what helps end civil wars? Peace talks! Do you know what is not helping us try to avoid World War III? Dumb tweets! Truly, a fitting end to humanity.
There have been multiple attempts to stop the fighting in Syria, none of which have remotely worked for any real amount of time. The most recent attempt was halted just two days ago after the U.S. protested the continued bombardment of Aleppo, the ruined city which has become a symbol of the devastating war which has created more than 4.5 million refugees.
In addition to descending into a chaotic, multi-factional civil war full of barrel bombs and chemical warfare attacks, Syria has also become host to the various air forces of Russia and NATO, respectively, as NATO tries to stop ISIS and Russia tries to prop-up the Assad dictatorship. As you would imagine, the war has been completely beset by atrocities, while the airspace above the war-torn nation has become a bit of a shooting gallery for people trying to shoot down Russian attack jets and helicopters.
Seemingly convinced that what this war needed was a greater chance of becoming a much wider conflict, Russia decided that what it needed was a battery of anti-aircraft missiles.
A battery of Russian S-300 air defense missile launchers has been transported to Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. Its sole purpose is to defend a Russian naval base and warships, the ministry added.
The S-300 is a Russian front-line anti-aircraft missile system, in service with several upgrades since the 1970s. Not quite as advanced as the S-400 system which is still being introduced into the Russian military, it’s a formidable threat to all types of aircraft nonetheless.
And while the stated purpose is to defend the Russian naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus, there isn’t a big target list. It’s obviously not directed at Russian or Syrian jets, so that means it’s pointed at those of the American-led coalition, which includes much of NATO as well as countries like Jordan, the U.A.E., and Bahrain. It’s not like the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish Peshmerga are flying the latest iterations of the F-16 jet, after all.
It’s also not exactly a short-range missile system either, with later versions of the missiles capable of engagement at more than 100 miles distances.
And though the Syrian civil war is incredibly complex with multiple different factions fighting for numerous goals, the Russian government has a habit of calling any and all anti-Assad forces in Syria “terrorists.”
But just for good measure, the Russian embassy in the United States decided to send out this dumb tweet this morning, vaguely threatening the combined air forces of the American-led coalition like some sort of cheap mafia don from New Jersey.
“All jokes aside,” though! Because the Syrian Civil War is a never-ending fount of hilarious jokes.