Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that Moscow had started delivering its advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to the Syrian military. During a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Russian top diplomat emphasized that the measures taken aim at ensuring the safety and security of Russian military forces that are stationed in Syria. “The delivery started already. And as President Putin said after that incident, and we gave the picture which our military presented at a press conference in the Ministry of Defense, as the president said, the measures which we will take will be devoted to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria and we will do this,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it would supply bolster Syria’s anti-aircraft defense capabilities after Syrian forces, responding to an Israeli airstrike on September 17, mistakenly shot down a Russian Il-20 military plane, killing all of the 15 servicemen on board. While Israel rejected responsibility, stressing that its fighter-jets had already left the Syrian air-space when the Syrian military launched their missiles toward the Russian plane; Moscow’s defense ministry claimed that Jerusalem provided its military with less than one minute’s notice before its attack, eliminating any option for the Russian reconnaissance aircraft to fly to safety – thus bearing in-direct responsibility for the tragedy.
Meanwhile, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry source told TV7 that Jerusalem will continue to prevent its enemies from crossing Israel’s declared-red-lines, primarily Iran’s attempts to establish a front-base against the Jewish state in Syria, and the ongoing attempts by the Islamic Republic to transfer advance weapons to its proxy Hezbollah, in Lebanon. The Defense Ministry source, who spoke to TV7 on condition of anonymity as he was not permitted to speak on the matter, asserted that any attempt by Syria to use the S-300 against Israeli fighter-jets would be met with a decisive response. He underscored, “if Syria would fire toward us, we will destroy their newly acquired systems – a fact that was clearly conveyed to the Russians.”