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Russian Federation to boost Syrian air defence with S-300 system

24 September, 2018, 18:35 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Syrians run for cover after government air strikes on the Eastern Ghouta rebel-held enclave of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus

Arguably, the most concerning thing for Israel will be the delivery to Syria of an S-300 anti-aircraft system, which will boost Syria's capabilities to deny Israel access to its airspace.

The Syrian military has already been trained to use the system, which was set to be sent over in 2013, but was held up 'at the request of Israel, ' Shoigu said.

"This forced us to take an adequate response aimed at improving the security of Russian troops performing tasks to combat worldwide terrorism in Syria", Shoigu said at the briefing.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, President Vladimir Putin appeared to take a softer line with Israel than the military, noting that it was Syrian air defenses that shot down the plane.

This will improve Syrian air-defense operations and "most important, the identification of all Russian aircraft by Syrian air-defense systems will be guaranteed", Shoigu said.

Russian officials said Syria's outdated S-200 systems weren't sophisticated enough to identify the Russian plane as a friendly one.

Last week, a delegation led by the commander of the Israeli Air Force traveled to Moscow to present the Russian military with their investigation and report on the incident.

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Russia's defence ministry has formally blamed Israel for violating an agreement aimed at preventing clashes between the two nations over the skies of Syria that led to the downing of a Russian reconnaissance aircraft. They also said the Israelis may have deliberately used the Russian plane as a cover, expecting that the Syrians would not dare to fire at their F-16 fighter jets with the Russian plane nearby.

He said the warning time before the strike was "much longer than one minute". However, the Kremlin also said Russia's decision was not targeted against anyone and only serves to protect Russian troops in Syria.

"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", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as telling journalists. He also said that Russian Federation would start to electronically jam aircraft flying in to attack targets in Syria.

It was the deadliest known case of friendly fire between Syria and key backer Russian Federation since Moscow's game-changing 2015 military intervention.

"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.

"We are certain that the realization of these measures will cool the "hot heads" and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen", Shoigu said.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army on Monday declined to comment on Moscow's S-300 delivery.



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