Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Russian Federation to Supply New S-300 Missile Defense System to Syria

Russian Federation to Supply New S-300 Missile Defense System to Syria

The defense minister also underscored the fact that 5 years ago Moscow had halted the supplies of the S-300s to Damascus at Israel's request, but the situation has changed "through no fault of Russian Federation".

From a honeymoon in the years after Israel's founding, to strained ties after the mistaken downing of a Russian plane in Syria, relations between Israel and Russia have gone through several periods of tensions.

An Israeli official said the Russian plane was shot down because Syrian batteries had "fired recklessly, irresponsibly and unprofessionally, long after our planes were no longer there".

President Vladimir Putin discussed the decision by phone on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kremlin said.

The Russian Il-20 military reconnaissance aircraft was downed by Syrian air defenses that mistook it for an Israeli aircraft, killing all 15 people on board. Moscow accused Israel of creating unsafe conditions that caused the crash.

Russian Federation has blamed Israel, whose military was conducting airstrikes on Syria at the time, for the incident.

Delivery of the S-300 would change the overall situation on the battlefield in Syria although the IDF reportedly has the ability to destroy the system and has already announced it will continue its strikes against Iran in Syria.

The IDF will continue to strike at Iranian target in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Russian Federation announced plans to transfer to Syria an advanced anti-missile system known as the S-300.

An Israeli military statement said the raid by its fighter jets last Monday had targeted a weapons manufacturing facility in Latakia where weapons were "about to be transferred on behalf of Iran" to Hezbollah.

Last Monday, Putin defended Moscow's move during a telephone call with Netanyahu, by telling the Israeli PM that the Russian move was "aimed primarily at fending off any potential threat to the lives of Russian servicemen".

Israel regularly bombs Syrian air defenses, and if they kill Russians, it could quickly escalate into war.

The missile system, originally developed by the Soviet military, but since modernised and available in several versions with different capabilities, fires missiles from trucks and is created to shoot down military aircraft and short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. It fires missiles from trucks and is created to shoot down military aircraft and short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300, which Israel feared Syria could use against it. Israel fears that the S-300, will make it more hard for the IDF to execute air raids against Iranian targets.

Krelmin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on a conference call that the decision to supply the weapons was "not directed at any third country". "Russia needs to increase safety of its military and it should be clear for everyone", he said.

"According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) was premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly can not but harm our relations", Peskov told journalists.

Russian Federation will provide advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria and directly link up with the air-defence network of its Middle Eastern ally, stepping up support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad after the downing of a reconnaissance plane last week.

Bolton told reporters in New York: "There shouldn't be any misunderstanding here".

"Russia will jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the regions over waters of the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria", Mr. Shoigu added.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said Monday that he hopes Russian Federation will reconsider supplying missiles to Syria, noting that it is a would be a "major mistake" and "significant escalation".

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