Russia on Monday announced it will supply advanced S-300 Air Defence Systems to Syria within two weeks as an adequate response to Israel’s role in the downing of the Russian IL -20 plane last week.
“The Syrian Armed Forces will be supplied with the advanced S-300 air defence missile system within two weeks. It is capable of intercepting air threats at a range of more than 250 kilometres and simultaneously hitting several aerial targets,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
He added that the S-300 will significantly improve the combat capabilities of Syria’s air defence forces. Shoigu said Russia halted the delivery of S-300 systems to Syria in 2013 at Israel’s request, but the situation around the supplies has now changed through no fault of Russia. He added that the systems were ready to be supplied and the Syrian troops were trained.
Russia said it will jam satellite navigation, on board radars, combat aviation communication systems in the waters of Mediterranean Sea next to Syria.
Shoigu said the measures taken by Russia after IL-20 crach will cool “hot heads” and prevent ill-considered actions threatening Russian servicemen otherwise Russia will have to respond in line with the current situation.
According to the minister, an Israeli F-16 jet used the Russian IL-20 aircraft as a shield, which resulted in the downing of the plane by Syrian air defence systems. “This forced us to take an adequate response aimed at improving the security of Russian troops performing tasks to combat international terrorism in Syria,” Shoigu said.
“Russia’s decision to supply Syria with S-300 will prevent uncontrolled attacks on the territory of the country by the Western coalition. Besides, Israel will have to agree with Russia about the targets of their attacks in Syria,” Russian upper house lawmaker Igor Morozov said.
Meanwhile, the meeting of Russia-Israel intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation is scheduled for early October. The Russian side said it is actively engaged in preparations.