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Russian Federation to provide Syria with new S-300 air defense missiles

26 September 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that supplying advanced weapon systems to "irresponsible players" would increase dangers in the region, Netanyahu's office 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 announced on Tuesday that it will provide Syria with the S-300 advanced missile system, which should be delivered in about two weeks. Russia laid the blame on Israel, saying Israeli fighter jets were hiding behind the Russian plane, an account denied by the Israeli military. "We will continue to take action to prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria and we will continue the security coordination between the IDF and the Russian military", the Israeli Prime Minister said.

Worldwide and regional powers backing various sides in Syria's civil war have been carrying out strikes for years, often using special hotlines to prevent aerial confrontations.

Russian Federation bolstering the Syrian army's bases is not merely limited to air defense systems, with early signs indicating toward a broader security apparatus including radio jamming capabilities to block or interfere with radio communications over said bases according to military experts.

But he said there had been occasions when things had not gone smoothly, calling Syria's downing of the Russian plane "tragic".

Israel has sent military officials to Moscow in an attempt to amend relations but so far to no avail.

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Israel regularly bombs Syrian air defenses, and if they kill Russians, it could quickly escalate into war. Instead, the Israeli jets targeted the western province of Latakia, putting the Russian warplane in the line of fire.

"Russia in this case is acting in its interests only, these actions are not directed against third countries, but towards defending our own military", he said.

Daniel B. Shapiro, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, served as USA ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration.

This dispute and its accompanying ill will are unlikely to lead to fundamental changes either in military operations in Syria or in Russian-Israeli diplomacy.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

The Russian president also informed Assad of the S-300 delivery, it said.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad in 2015 and though the involvement turned the tide of war in favour of Syrian government forces, Moscow has since played a careful balancing act, maintaining good ties both with Iran and Israel.

Russian Federation to provide Syria with new S-300 air defense missiles