Moscow Hopes Israel Will 'Exercise Good Judgment' After Transfer of S-300 to Syria

Delivery of advanced surface-to-air missiles to Assad will be followed by additional steps, Russian deputy foreign minister says

S-300 anti-aircraft systems.
AFP

Moscow hopes Israel will "exercise good judgment" following the transfer of advanced S-300 missiles from Russia to Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin told Sputnik on Thursday.

An Israeli official last week said that the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles are "a complicated challenge" for Israel, but added: "We're dealing with it in different ways, not necessarily by preventing the delivery."

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Vershinin said that the delivery of the S-300 systems will be followed by additional steps.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday that Russia is now going to go ahead with the shipment because "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault." He also said that Russia would start to electronically jam aircraft flying in to attack targets in Syria. "We are convinced that these measures will calm down some hotheads and keep them from careless actions which pose a threat to our troops," Shoigu said.

The Russian Defense Ministry released a video Tuesday of the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Syria. In the video, Russian crewmembers appear to be unloading of the launcher, the radar and the commanding control vehicle. Shoigu said that four launchers have been supplied to Syria, with a Russian report suggesting that Russia may end up transferring up to eight systems to Syria.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called Russia's delivery of the S-300 to Syria a "serious escalation" on Wednesday.

Russia announced it would supply the anti-aircraft missiles after Syrian forces, responding to an Israeli airstrike on September 17, mistakenly shot down a Russian military reconnaissance plane, killing all 15 people on board.

Shoigu said the systems would be integrated into Russia’s existing air-defense system by October 20 and that Syrian personnel would be trained on its use within three months.

Vershinin told Sputnik that the deconfliction channel between Israel and Russia, which was installed after Syrian President Bashar Assad's war effort in 2015, will remain in place despite the downing of the Ilyushin-20 plane.