Israel Warns Russia Over 'Dangers' Of Supplying Syria With Advanced Air Defenses

Charlene Craig
September 28, 2018

This move is in response to a Syrian missile inadvertently shooting down a Russian plane last week, killing 15 Russians on board. Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300s, which Israel feared Syria could use against it. The Israeli pilots actually hid behind the Russian plane exposing it to Syrian missiles, the ministry stressed.

Russian Federation has held out the possibility of sending S-300s to Syria for years as a way to limit foreign airstrikes on Syrian military targets.

"The prime minister said providing advanced weapons systems to irresponsible actors will magnify dangers in the region, and that Israel will continue to defend itself and its interests", Netanyahu's office said.

He pinned the blame on the Israeli military.

Russia says ‘misled’ by Israel in plane downing over Syria

Israel maintains that indiscriminate fire from Syrian forces was to blame for the incident.

Responding to US National Security Adviser John Bolton's remark that the S-300's deliveries to Syria would constitute a "significant escalation" by Moscow, Ermakov stated the S-300 systems were meant for defensive purposes, and the US was fudging when saying that Russia's supplies would violate its national security.

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

The Russian government has agreed to provide the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a missile defense system, according to the BBC.

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Mr Netanyahu also expressed his confidence in the credibility of the Israeli military's account of the circumstances surrounding the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane.

REUTERS/Ronen ZvulunIsraeli security forces examine the remains of an F-16 Israeli war plane near the Israeli village of Harduf, Israel February 10, 2018.

Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as "cover", which resulted in the larger Il-20 being hit by a Syrian missile.

But Shoigu said that the Israeli military warned Russian Federation about last week's strike just one minute before launching it and claimed it was being conducted in Syria's north.

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Israel said its warplanes were targeting a Syrian facility involved in arms shipments to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group. Then, after a Russian investigation called Israel's actions "criminal" Putin apparently chose to clip the Israeli wings by allowing S-300s to be deployed, a decision that severely complicates Israel's ability to maneuver in the Syrian skies and continue its policy of relentless attacks against incoming weapons before they can reach Iranian proxy Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the decision to supply the weapons was not directed at any third country.

"According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly can not but harm our relations", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. "This is why in this case, Russian Federation is guided exclusively by these interests, these actions are not directed against third countries, they are meant to protect our own troops", the Kremlin spokesman noted. Gen. Amikam Norkin visited Moscow to present Israel's findings on the incident.

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