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Russian Federation to Supply New S-300 Missile Defense System to Syria

25 September 2018

Russia's announcement on the missile system came a week after Moscow blamed Israel for indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria.

Russia announced earlier Monday that it would give Syria's government more modern, S-300 missile defense systems after last week's downing of a Russian plane by Syria in a friendly fire incident.

Shoigu said the supply of S-300s to Syria will "calm down some hotheads" whose actions "pose a threat to our troops".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russian news agencies that supplying S-300 to Syria is Russia's "own right" and expressed confidence that this would not hurt Russia's ties with Israel.

"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.

Russia, which fights in Syria to support the government, has said Syria shot the Il-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target.

Israel denied this version of events and its air force commander flew to Moscow following the incident, which Putin called the result of a "chain of tragic accidental circumstances".

Peskov said the new measures were decided on to boost the security of its troops in Syria.

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Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Monday accused Israeli pilots of acting deliberately and said the downing of the Russian plane would harm relations between the two countries. "Most importantly, this will guarantee that Russian aircraft are identified by Syrian air defences", he said.

But Monday, the Kremlin seemed to take a tougher stance, blaming the downing on "the deliberate actions of Israeli pilots" and saying Israel's explanations weren't convincing, according to spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Russian Federation is the main ally of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who Israel has repeatedly targeted. During a Syrian air defenses counterattack, the Russian spy plane was shot down by an S-200 anti-aircraft missile and its 15 crew members were killed.

Russia laid the blame squarely on Israel, saying that its fighter jet pushed the Russian aircraft into the line of fire of Syria's air defence systems.

Russian Federation is providing Syria an air missile system, which is drawing strong objections from Israel. It has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria.

The deterioration in relations between Russian Federation and Israel, along with a transfer of the S-300 system, complicates Israel's efforts to contain Iranian influence.

But Moscow insisted the Syrians had no capability to determine which plane was friend or foe with their outdated Soviet system.

Russian antiicraft missile systems - the S-300, right, and the S-400 - on display at a military industrial exhibition in Zhukovsky, in the Moscow region, on August 14, 2014.

Russian Federation to Supply New S-300 Missile Defense System to Syria