Russian Federation supplies Syria with new missile defence after friendly fire


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.

Syria's skies, where regional and global powers back different parties in the conflict, are increasingly crowded.

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.

Israel, which has struck Syria scores of times during the war, said after the incident that it would work to improve "deconfliction" of its missions with Russian forces, but would not halt them. For its part, Israel is wary of Iran's growing influence in Syria.

Those who were surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin's calm demeanor after a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down by Syrian forces last week are now seeing the missing factors in the originally confusing equation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to discuss the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during this week's U.N. General Assembly in NY.

Following the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli air strike that stoked regional tensions, the Kremlin announced earlier this week that it will supply the Syrian regime with sophisticated S-300 air defense systems in a move expected to shift the current balance between Israel and Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that his nation will "continue to act against the entrenchment of the Iranian military in Syria" despite Russia's decision to supply Syria with the S-300 system.

Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300s, which Israel feared Syria could use against it. Mr Shoigu said Russian Federation is now going to go ahead with the shipment because "the situation has changed".

Alexander Khramchikhin of the Moscow-based Institute of Military and Political Analysis said the S-300 could "seriously affect Israel's ability to carry out its strikes in Syria". "And it's not our fault" Shoigu said.

When asked whether the death of 15 Russian soldiers played a role in Moscow's decision, Abboud said the casualties were an "opportunity to impose the limit". Russia-which, unlike the United States , feels no domestic political pressure to sweep under the rug a loss of its countrymen's lives due to Israeli action in a war zone-eventually had to speak out forcefully.

Russia's stepped-up role in Syria enabled Assad's forces, which had been losing ground to the armed opposition, to gain the upper hand in the war and reclaim wide swathes of territory held by the rebels.

Last week, Russia's foreign ministry said Israel must provide Moscow with more information about the downing of the military aircraft near the Syrian coast. 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.

Mattis was more circumspect than Bolton in discussing Syria however, placing the emphasis on training local Syrians to provide their own security rather than acting as a check on Iranian ambitions.

According to the statement, Putin reiterated that Russian Federation holds Israel responsible for the downing of the plane.