Russian Defense Ministry confirms S-300 system and four launch pads arrive in Syria; Lieberman: We are engaged in a very civilized, adequate dialogue, despite the seriousness of the situation, despite the tragic incident.
Russia completed its delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed the system’s arrival in Syria on Tuesday, as well as four launching platforms. He reported “We now control a close zone of up to 50 kilometers and the far zone of 200 kilometers from where attacks on the Syrian territory were launched.”
Russia began delivering its S-300 anti-missile system to Syria using the world’s largest military planes, the Condor, over the weekend. A Russian official, Vladimir Mikheyev of Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies, addressed the system’s deployment, announcing that Russia would monitor airspace and flight movements from the Middle East and Europe. He stated on the radar protection systems, “[Russia] will know not only that someone has entered the airspace in this region, but also that somewhere a plane is only operating on the runway, be it in Israel or Saudi Arabia or even in Europe,” adding that the “system is capable of combating precision weapons-guided bombs and missiles.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the system’s deployment, reiterating “I cannot say that we are happy about the deployment of the S-300s. At the same time, we have no choice here. We have no opportunity to make decisions on military operations in Syria.”
On Israel’s preemptive strikes in Syria, he assured “Over the past two years Israel has conducted more than 200 strikes against Iranian facilities and Hezbollah targets in Syria,” adding that each time “not a single Russian soldier received a single scratch. Suddenly, here we allegedly arranged such a setup. It is illogical.”
On Israel’s military coordination with Russia, he stated “We are engaged in a very civilized, adequate dialogue, despite the seriousness of the situation, despite the tragic incident.”
Last week in the United States, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave an interview and confirmed that he spoke to President Putin and asked him to not deliver the system. He stated “I told him very respectfully and very clearly that Israel will do, will continue to do what it has to do to defend itself.”