Key Point: All powers like to use proxy conflicts to test out new weapons and Russia is no different. Moscow is seeing how well its jamming equipment fares against America's planes.
Russian forces have been jamming GPS systems in the Middle East. The electronic-warfare campaign could affect U.S. forces gathering in the region in advance of potential strikes on Iran.
“Since last spring, pilots flying through the Middle East, specifically around Syria, have noted that their GPS systems have displayed the wrong location or stopped working entirely,” The Times of Israel reported in late June 2019.
The signal that has been disrupting satellite navigation for planes flying through Israeli airspace in recent weeks originates inside a Russian air base inside Syria, according to data collected by a U.S.-based researcher.
This interference to the Global Positioning System reception does not appear to be specifically directed at Israel, but rather the Jewish state is likely collateral damage in an effort by Moscow both to protect its troops from drone attacks and to assert its dominance in the field of electronic warfare, Todd Humphreys, a professor at the University of Texas, told The Times of Israel.