Russia Will Provide S-300 Air Defense to Syria

Larry Hoffman
September 26, 2018

After a three-hour meeting with the cabinet, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Tuesday for Israeli military forces to continue operations in Syria after Russian Federation announced it would provide anti-aircraft systems to its ally, Syria.

The incident comes a day after the opposition group announced rejecting to cooperate with the Russian-Turkish agreement. There may be similar incidents in the future owing to the practical difficulty of separating what belongs to Syria (which Israel, having grown comfortable with the Assad regime as "the devil we know", is not now seeking to fight a war against) from what belongs to its Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Tuesday to continue combating Iranian "entrenchment" in Syria and coordinating with Russian Federation after the downing of one of Moscow's planes.

Moscow has blamed the friendly fire incident on Israeli pilots using the larger Russian plane as "cover".

To the contrary, consultations with the Israelis have provided useful deconfliction of military operations and probably have prevented something like last week's downing of the Russian plane from happening much sooner. Israel has launched at least 200 strikes at Iranian and Hezbollah facilities in Syria over the past years, and has maintained a hotline with the Russian military to prevent any collisions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on Monday.

Israel says Iran has spent the last few years trying to establish a military presence in Syria that could serve as a potential forward attacking base against the Jewish state.

Shoigu said Russian Federation is now going to go ahead with the shipment because "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault".

"The Israeli reports are not true", the Kremlin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

The data also proves wrong the claims earlier made by the Israeli military.

Russian Federation already has its own S-300 air defense system in Syria, along with the more advanced S-400 system. Instead, the Israeli jets targeted the western province of Latakia, putting the Russian warplane in the line of fire.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in support of President Bashar Assad in 2015, eventually turning the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces.

Since the downing of the IL-20 spy plane, Israel's relationship with Moscow has appeared to be rapidly deteriorating. It was shot down during a counterattack by Syrian air defenses and its 15 crew members were killed.

Last week, Russian Federation and Turkey reached a deal to avert an offensive against Idlib, which is controlled by a mix of radical groups and Turkey-backed Syrian forces.

Concerns are rising in Idlib over the details of the deal and how it will be implemented. But if Syria somehow leaked the signal, the United States or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could trick all Russian air defenses into their fighters were friendly Russian jets, leaving Russia open to attack, according to Sokov.

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