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Russia says ‘misled’ by Israel in plane downing over Syria
Has Syria become Putin's political juggernaut?

26 September, 2018

The S-300 air defense systems will be in the hands of Mr. Assad's forces within the next two weeks, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.

Russia announced on Monday that it will supply the Syrian government with more modern, S-300 missile defence systems following last week's downing of a Russian plane by Syria, a friendly fire incident that sent regional tensions over the war-torn country soaring.

Israel's Channel Two quotes Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov saying that ongoing Israeli airstrikes are harming relations between Israel and Russia, and that Russia's response to the downing of the plane was meant to "increase the security" of Russian soldiers in Syria.

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.

"I will underscore - at the request of the Israeli side, in 2013 we suspended the delivery of S-300 systems that were ready for the dispatch, while the Syrian military had undergone training".

Russian Federation will also block navigation and satellite systems, as well as communications of warplanes operating in the eastern Mediterranean, according to the defence minister.

"We are convinced that these measures will calm down some hotheads and keep them from careless actions which pose a threat to our troops", Mr Shoigu said. In those regions, government forces backed by Russian Federation and Iran laid siege to rebel-held areas before retaking them in bloody offensives. Russian military advisers were supposed to ensure that the Syrian air-defense system worked in synch with the Russian air campaign; it has transpired, however, that there was no communication between the Syrian missile batteries and the Khmeimim airbase, where the Russian squadron is deployed (Kommersant, September 21). But now Russian Federation holds Israel responsible for the downing of the plane.

On Sunday, Russia reiterated its stance that Israeli jets had used its reconnaissance plane as cover while carrying out strikes in Syria.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against delivering an advanced air-defense system to Syria, saying it will further destabilize the war-torn region.

Israel, by contrast, said that its air force hadn't violated any agreements with Russian Federation and that Israeli jets had already returned to Israeli airspace when the missiles were launched.

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "According to information from our military experts, this tragedy was caused by deliberate actions by Israeli pilots, which certainly can not but damage our relations". Putin says "a chain of tragic circumstances" is to be blamed for a Russian military aircraft shot down by a Syrian missile.

Bolton noted in his remarks that the USA plans to continue its military presence in Syria as long as Iranian advisors are there.

Elias Farhat, a military analyst and retired Lebanese army general, said the Syrians have already been trained on how to operate the S-300 a few years ago.

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.

"The command posts of Syrian air defense forces and units will be equipped with automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces".

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