Russia has announced it will supply Syria with an S-300 ground-to-air missile system, saying it will improve the allied country’s defenses and help avert a repeat of the downing of a Russian warplane by Syrian forces a week ago.
Speaking on September 24, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow will deliver the S-300 within two weeks and will also provide Syrian government forces with updated automated systems for its air-defense network. RFERL reports.
Moscow accused Tel Aviv of failing to inform Russia about its impending attack on targets in Syria, which resulted in a downing of the Russian electronic warfare aircraft by Syrian return fire. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the defense ministry to take several measures in response to the incident, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“In 2013 on a request from the Israeli side we suspended the delivery to Syria of the S-300 system, which was ready to be sent with its Syrian crews trained to use it, The situation has changed, and not due to our fault. The Russian military will also supply better control systems to Syrian Air Defense Troops, which are only supplied to the Russian Armed Forces.” ~ Defense chief Sergey Shoigu
Last week, a Russian Il-20 plane with 15 people on board was shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile over the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Latakia governorate. The Syrians fired in response to an Israeli air raid on its soil. Russia laid the blame for the downing on Israel, saying that the Israeli military failed to inform their Russian counterpart in time for the Il-20 to be moved to a safe area. 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.