Russia to Supply Syria With S-300 Anti-Missile System - Minister

Russia again says Israel is to blame for the downing of its military plane by Syrian forces

Russia again says Israel is to blame for the downing of its military plane by Syrian forces

A Syrian air defense missile downed the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military plane on September 17, killing all 15 soldiers aboard and threatening to damage relations between Russia and Israel, which three years ago set up a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.

Last week's crash, which killed 15 Russian service members, had forced Moscow to take "adequate retaliatory measures to increase the safety of Russian military fighting worldwide terrorism in Syria", Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday in a televised address.

Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence with a S-300 system and jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean following the downing of a Russian plane, its military chief said.

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

"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. Iran is one of Russia's key allies in the region, creating a delicate balancing act for Moscow and Tel Aviv, who... Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300s, which Israel feared Syria could use against it.

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Peskov said the new measures were decided on to boost the security of its troops in Syria. Moscow blamed the friendly fire incident on Israeli pilots using the larger Russian plane as "cover".

According to Haaretz, Israel fears that Russian Federation can influence its military activity through demanding greater warning time, deciding to close the airspace or requiring more advanced air defense systems be put in place as a signal to Israel, among other things. The ministry said four Israeli F-16 fighter jets had carried out on targets in the Syrian province of Latakia.

The Israeli pilots' actions "either speak of their unprofessionalism or criminal negligence at the very least", Konashenkov said, reiterating the Israeli airforce was fully responsible for the downing of the plane.

Russian Federation in April had hinted that it would supply the S-300 to Assad's government despite Israeli objections. Assad expressed his condolences for the deaths of the Russian airmen, saying they were "carrying out noble mission, fighting terrorism in Syria".

Concerns are rising in Idlib over the details of the deal and how it will be implemented. The conference called on armed groups not to leave the front lines in Syria or hand over their weapons.

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