Can Russia curb Israel's actions in Syria?

25 September, 2018, 09:25 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • A Sukhoi Su-22 Syrian army plane releases bombs over southern Damascus in the area of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp

Russia refrained from giving this system to the Syrians in the past due to Israeli protests, but Moscow now blames Israel for the deaths of 15 Russian crew members.

Speaking with reporters at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in NY on Monday, National Security Advisor John Bolton warned that "introducing the S-300s to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians". The plane was shot down by a Syrian missile, but Russia faulted Israel for the crash because an Israeli fighter jet allegedly had used the Russian plane as a screen against Syria's air defenses.

According to the halturnerradioshow.com, nearly seven Ilyushin Il-76 military transporters of Russian Air Force have arrived at Khmeimim military airbase on 22 September.

Russian Federation has already sold the system to Iran, much to Israel's dismay given the weapon's ability to threaten Israeli air superiority and complicate air strikes in the event of a conflict.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in Syria to support President Bashar Assad in 2015 and though the involvement turned the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces, Moscow has since played a careful balancing act, maintaining good ties both with Iran and Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in NY as Washington expressed concern at Moscow's plans to supply the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria.

This incident "has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops", Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu explained.

Russian Federation has said it is to supply ally Syria with more advanced anti-missiles technology and jam radar signals in the eastern Mediterranean, after a deadly incident of friendly fire.

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Israeli analysts said the transfer of Russia's powerful S-300 ground-to-air missile systems to Syria would add an extra layer of risk and complexity to such operations.

Shoigu went on television to say that Russian Federation is now going to go ahead with the shipment because "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault". "It could cause a reaction by Israel or the US, including attempts to destroy the system before it's operational".

Israeli experts fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin is exploiting the downing of a Russian aircraft in Syria last week to change the rules of the game in the war-torn country. "The party responsible for the attacks in Syria and Lebanon and really the party responsible for the shooting down of the Russian plane is Iran", he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to seek to move past the incident in spite of strong statements from the Russian military.

Because of this, Moscow claims that the Russian airforce could not keep its plane safe.

Syrian military had 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.

Putin spoke to Assad by phone Monday and informed him of the plan to provide the missiles, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah is also an enemy of Israel, which has carried out strikes in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to the Shiite group.

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