Sunday, 20 October, 2019


Russian Federation to supply Syria with missile system

18 2018 shows a Russian IL-20M aircraft landing at an unknown location 18 2018 shows a Russian IL-20M aircraft landing at an unknown location
Bennie Garza | 25 September, 2018, 05:25

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".

Russian officials said Syria's outdated S-200 systems weren't sophisticated enough to identify the Russian plane as a friendly one.

A Russian plane was accidentally shot down by Syria as Israeli jets were attacking Assad regime targets in the war-torn country last week.

Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton also warned Russian Federation that supplying the weapons would be a "major mistake", denouncing the sale as a "significant escalation" on Monday. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the Russian deaths were "a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military". In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Putin didn't outline any retaliatory measures, agreeing only to prevent such steps in the future, the Kremlin said in a statement at the time.

'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, ' Peskov told journalists.

"A modern S-300 air defence missile system will be transferred to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks", he said.

'In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean Sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory, ' he said. The system will "significantly increase the Syrian army's combat capabilities", he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, Finland in July and Bolton and his Russian counterpart met in August.

So, how will this incident impact the Russia-Israel relationship? However, the Syrian military has already received training to use the system.

Shoigu said that "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault", adding that the supply of an S-300 would "calm down some hotheads" whose actions "pose a threat to our troops". That would greatly limit Israeli operations over Syria, where it has been engaging Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

If delivered, the S-300s would further shift the military balance in Syria in favor of Assad as well as Iran and its allied militia Hezbollah, which have vowed to maintain a presence in Syria even though the war is winding down, over Israel's objections.

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with the Greek Kathimerini newspaper, in Damascus, Syria, in this photo released May 10, 2018.

In the phone call, initiated by Assad, Putin spoke of "additional measures to ensure the safety of Russian troops in Syria and to reinforce the country's air defense system", the Kremlin said in a statement.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, tweeted that the Russian accusation Israel was to blame for the Russian plane being shot down was "fake news ... meant to assuage diplomatic pressures and cloud the responsibility of Syrian and Russian officers for downing the plane".

Its unsophisticated air defence missiles instead hit a Russian Il-20 surveillance plane, killing all 15 servicemen onboard.

"The Israelis have a legitimate right to self-defense against this Iranian aggressive behavior", Bolton said,"that's why the president has spoken to this issue and why we would regard introducing the S-300 as a major mistake".

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

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