Syria to get S-300 anti-air missiles from Russia: minister

Motor cycles ride past buildings destroyed during the fighting in the northern town of Ariha in Idlib province Syria

Motor cycles ride past buildings destroyed during the fighting in the northern town of Ariha in Idlib province Syria

But François Heisbourg, a French defence analyst and a former defence official, said he presumed the S-300s would be operated by Russians, not Syrians.

"It is capable of intercepting air assault weapons at a distance of more than 250 kilometers and hit simultaneously several air targets", the minister said.

According to Russia, Israeli F-16s flew in low under the Il-20 to either shield themselves from air defense fire or make Syrian air defenses, which use outdated technology, shoot down the bigger, easier to spot Il-20 rather than the sleeker F-16s.

The US and Israel are both objecting, as they always do when Russian Federation raises the possibility of delivering S-300s to one of their allies.

A Russian army Tyulpan self-propelled mortar, left, and an S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system take part in a live demonstration at the International Military-Technical Forum "ARMY 2018" expo at Kubinka airfield in Kubinka, Russia, on Aug 21, 2018.

A day later, Moscow says it plans to supply the Syrian army with a new S-300 air defence system and jam radars of nearby warplanes.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, tweeted that the Russian accusation Israel was to blame for the Russian plane being shot down was "fake news ... meant to assuage diplomatic pressures and cloud the responsibility of Syrian and Russian officers for downing the plane". He seeks to cultivate Russia's strategic partnership with Turkey, wants to preserve ties with Israel (against the preferences of his top brass), and certainly can not afford the risk of a direct military clash with the US. Russian Federation has agreed to supply the Syrian government with a surface-to-air missile defense system as it continues to try to prop up the regime there.

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".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pointed this out hours after Bolton's remarks, claiming that while Russian Federation and Iran had both contributed to instability in Syria the U.S. military remained exclusively focused on defeating Daesh.

"(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defense system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks".

Moscow blamed the shoot-down of the aircraft, which killed 15 Russian servicemen, on Israel, whose planes were attacking targets in Syria at the same time.

The job of Israel's air force just got a lot more risky.

Netanyahu has also scheduled high-level meetings there with U.S. President Donald Trump and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, among numerous others.

Ostensibly to prevent such a mishap from reoccurring, Russian Federation has agreed to sell it's most advanced anti-aircraft system, the S-300, to the Syrian regime.

USA officials believe that Russian Federation agreed to halt the offensive on Idlib because Moscow believes the Assad regime in Damascus could not quickly defeat the rebel holdout without chemical weapons and realised that major use of chemical arms would invite United States and allied intervention.

Russian Federation will now reportedly staff Syrian air defenses to avoid such shoot-downs in the future, but this puts them in harm's way.

Israel has admitted to more than 200 air strikes within Syria in the last two years.

Putin told Netanyahu that the measures had been taken to prevent any threat to Russian troops in Syria.

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