Russia Will Provide S-300 Air Defense to Syria

A Sukhoi Su-22 Syrian army plane releases bombs over southern Damascus in the area of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp

A Sukhoi Su-22 Syrian army plane releases bombs over southern Damascus in the area of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp

So next time Israel or the U.S. decides to strike Syria, it may not only find stiffer-than-usual resistance, it might find itself in a quickly escalating battle with one of the world's greatest military powers.

The security cabinet, which met Tuesday morning, released a statement around the same time, with a similar message.

"The security cabinet has instructed the IDF to continue to take action against attempts by Iran to establish a military presence in Syria while continuing the security coordination with Russian Federation", the statement read, echoing comments made by Israeli defense officials over the past week.

"Since the tragic events in the skies over Syria I have spoken twice with President Putin", he told reporters.

"This is not to say that there haven't been exceptions but all in all there has been very great success". A search operation is being carried out on the Il-20 crash site, 27 km west of the Baniyas port, to recover from water the bodies of 15 deceased crew members and the plane wreckage.

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Israel has sent military officials to Moscow in an attempt to amend relations but so far to no avail. The military's reconnaissance Il-20 was shot down by the Syrian government missile defence systems responding to an Israeli airstrike.

The Russian military angrily rejected those claims.

Netanyahu spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday night, during which they agreed to continue their security coordination in Syria.

Netanyahu said Tuesday that the IDF and Russian military would work to resolve the issue.

"We think introducing the S-300's to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians and something that we hope, if these press reports are accurate, they would reconsider", Bolton said.

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In a telephone call held shortly after Russian Federation announced it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria within two weeks, Netanyahu also said he told Putin that Israel would continue to protect its security and interests.

Two things have facilitated Israel's campaign against Iranian weapons in Syria: the careful, professional approach of the Israeli Air Force, which hits its intended targets and avoids collateral damage; and Israel's deft management of its relationship with Russia, since the Russian military deployed to Syria in 2015.

"It is quite clear that the missile was targeting the Israeli jet", he noted.

"We have American forces in the area we're concerned about", Bolton said. But the Russian military came out on Sunday, renewing the accusations against Israel. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that it was downed by a missile from Syria's S-200 air defense missile system when it was carrying out an attack on four Israeli F-16 planes that had attacked facilities in the Latakia Governorate.

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