Vladimir Putin has given Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a new air defence system following the downing of a Russian plane that Moscow blamed on Israeli pilots.
Under orders from the Russian President, the Syrian army will receive a new S-300 surface-to-air missile system as well as new radar jamming technology.
The additional security measures come after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake, killing 15, in an incident last Monday that Moscow blames on Israel.
A computer simulation released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday purports to show Israeli jets (blue) near to the Russian reconnaissance plane shown in red, off Syria’s coast before it was accidentally shot down by Syria forces responding to an Israeli air strike
Vladimir Putin has given Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a new S-300 air defence system (pictured) following the downing of a Russian plane that Moscow blamed on Israeli pilots
Under orders from the Russian President, the Syrian army will receive a new S-300 surface-to-air missile system (pictured) as well as new radar jamming technology
Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (pictured together in May) discussed the additional measures and delivery of the S-300 system on the phone on Monday, the Kremlin said
‘This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops’ in Syria, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement.
‘(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks.’
Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed the additional measures and delivery of the S-300 system on the phone on Monday, the Kremlin said.
The Syrian military has already been trained to use the system, which was set to be sent over in 2013, but was held up ‘at the request of Israel,’ Shoigu 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 Syrian military has already been trained to use the system (pictured), which was set to be sent over in 2013, but was held up ‘at the request of Israel,’ Shoigu said
Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as ‘cover,’ which resulted in the larger Il-20 being hit by a Syrian missile. Pictured: Putin shoots from a Chukavin sniper rifle last week
Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as ‘cover,’ which resulted in the larger Il-20 being hit by a Syrian missile.
The Russian military has said that Israel’s airforce informed its command in Syria via the established de-confliction hotline, but only one minute before the air strikes – and gave the wrong target location.
Because of this, Moscow claims that the Russian airforce could not keep its plane safe.
Israel regularly carries out strikes in Syria against Assad’s government, its Lebanese ally Hezbollah and Iranian targets. An Israeli military delegation travelled to Moscow last week to share information about the incident.
An Israeli official said the information showed that the Russian plane was shot down because Syrian batteries had ‘fired recklessly, irresponsibly and unprofessionally, long after our planes were no longer there’.
He said the warning time before the strike was ‘much longer than one minute’.
Russia has apparently not found this convincing.
A Russian plane was accidentally shot down by Syria as Israeli jets were attacking Assad regime targets in the war-torn country last week. Social media pictures (above) purportedly showed explosions and rockets in the night sky around Latakia close to where the incident happened
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday said the incident was caused by ‘premeditated’ actions by Israeli pilots, warning that this will harm relations between the two countries.
‘According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly cannot but harm our relations,’ Peskov told journalists.
The incident was the deadliest case of friendly fire between Syria and its key backer Russia since Moscow’s game-changing 2015 military intervention.
Peskov said the new measures were only to boost the security of its troops in Syria.
‘Russia in this case is acting in its interests only, these actions are not directed against third countries, but towards defending our own military,’ he said.
Shoigu meanwhile said ‘we are certain that the realisation of these measures will cool the ‘hot heads’ and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen’.
A spokesperson for the Israeli army on Monday declined to comment on Moscow’s S-300 delivery.