Russia deploys S-300 missile system to Syria despite Netanyahu’s requests against; Russian official announces it will monitor Saudi Arabia, Israel and Europe’s airspace and movements.
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.”
The first shipment from Russia arrived in Syria on Thursday at the Hmeimim Air Base near Latakia. The system is expected to be operational in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has called on Russia to halt its delivery of the S-300 system to Syria. In an interview with CNN during his time in the USA last week, Netanyahu 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.” Referring to three years of military coordination in Syria, he added, “I think there’s a desire on both our part and Russia’s part… to avoid a clash.”