Last week, members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard fired 20 rockets into the Israeli controlled Golan Heights. Four of the incoming rockets were intercepted and the remaining 16 resulted in zero casualties and little damage to Israeli equipment. As ineffective as the attack was strategically, it had far-reaching symbolic implications.

In response, Israel launched a massive air offensive against Iran’s Quds, which are a branch of the Revolutionary Guard, but as they crossed into Syria, the Israeli F-16I Sufas were promptly engaged by Syrian air defenses. What followed was a broadening of Israel’s target scope to include Syrian assets as well. Israel stated,

The IDF’s wide-scale attack included Iranian intelligence sites, the Quds force logistics headquarters, an Iranian military compound in Syria, observation and military posts, et cetera. In spite of a warning from Israel, Syrian aerial defense forces fired towards the IAF aircraft as they conducted the strikes. In response, the IAF targeted several aerial interception systems (SA5, SA2, SA22, SA17) which belong to the Syrian Armed Forces. All of the IDF’s fighter jets returned to their bases safely.”

While the varied political and strategic elements of this kinetic interaction could warrant pages of analysis, one interesting aspect of the offensive to surface after the fact was footage of Israeli aircraft destroying an advanced Russian air defense system known as the Pantsir-S1, or SA-22 according to NATO.

The Pantsir-S1 is among the most advanced air defense platforms Russia has to offer — first fielded in 2007, the Pantsir-S1 didn’t see widespread deployment within the Russian military until 2010 or so. Soon thereafter, at least 40 of the 8×8 mobile SAM launchers were shipped off to Syria. The system is equipped with 12 surface-to-air missiles and a 30mm cannon, and has been touted as one of the premier short-range missile defense platforms on the planet today.

And yet it was taken out by an F-16 firing what was likely Israel’s Delilah cruise missile neither of which are notably advanced or stealthy when compared to other jets or common air-to-ground missile platforms.

Just like Russia’s decision not to intercept any incoming American, French, or British missiles as they closed with Syrian targets alleged to play a role in their manufacture and use of chemical weapons, Russia has responded to the video showing their advanced air defense system’s failure with characteristically dismissive rhetoric. In fact, Russia’s response basically boils down to saying that their air defense system failed to defend anything because they weren’t ready yet.

In the Kremlin-owned media outlet RT, Aytech Bizhev, a former deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian air force explained away the apparent failure of the Pantsir-S1 they sold to Syria with two possibilities: