PM speaks to Putin and requests halt of S-300 anti-missile system delivery to Syria; Israel’s Security Cabinet to convene on Tuesday; US Sec. Advisor Bolton: 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.
Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Russia to not supply Syria with S-300 anti-missile defense systems on Monday.
Netanyahu spoke to President Putin by phone Monday, asking Russia to not supply the S-300 systems and reassuring the Russian president that Syria is fully responsible for the downing of the Russian Il-20 aircraft.
The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement following, confirming the developments. It states ”The Prime Minister expressed his confidence in the credibility of the IDF investigation and its conclusions, and reiterated that the Syrian military, which brought down the plane, and Iran, whose aggression is undermining stability, are responsible for the unfortunate incident. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests.”
It added, “It was agreed to continue the dialogue between the professional teams and the inter-military coordination via the military channels. Prime Minister Netanyahu again expressed his condolences over the death of Russian soldiers.”
Russia announced it would deliver the system to the Syrian Army “within two weeks”, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stating Monday “[The S-300 system] is capable of intercepting air threats at a range of more than 250 kilometers and simultaneously hitting several aerial targets.” The minister announced that Russia would bolster its forces with a “centralized management of all Syrian air defense forces and facilities”, and that “Russia will jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft, which attack targets in the Syrian territory, in the regions over the waters of the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Syria.”
He claimed the measures “will cool hotheads and prevent ill-considered actions threatening our servicemen. Otherwise we will have to respond in line with the current situation.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry continues its claims that Israel is responsible for the downing of the aircraft. A spokesman for the Defense Minister, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, claimed on Sunday that the Israel Air Force used the Russian Il-20 aircraft as a shield and that the IDF provided “misinformation” on the attack. He accused Israel of “criminal negligence”.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Security Cabinet will meet on the crisis with Russia Tuesday morning. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be briefed on developments ahead of flying to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
The United States also condemned Russia’s decision. National Security Adviser John Bolton addressed the escalation in events on Monday, stating that providing the S-300 system to the Syrian army as a “significant escalation by the Russians.” He also clarified that Iran is responsible for the Russian deaths, stating “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.”