Russian Federation to supply Syria with missile system

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"Our relations [with Israel] are far broader", Bogdanov said, when asked if Russia's decision to supply S-300 air defense systems to Syria might affect Russia's relations with Israel.

In the phone call, initiated by Assad, Putin spoke of "additional measures to ensure the safety of Russian troops in Syria and to reinforce the country's air defense system, which includes the delivery of the modern S-300 systems", the Kremlin said in a statement.

Russia announced Monday it will supply Syria's government with sophisticated S-300 air defence systems after last week's downing of a Russian plane by Syria forces responding to an Israeli air strike, a friendly fire incident that stoked regional tensions. Shoigu said it was one of the counter-measures to maintain security in Syria's airspace after the loss of the Ilyushin-20 plane.

A flurry of shuttle diplomacy by Israeli officials to Russia appeared to be paying off in May, when Russian officials said just days after a visit by Netanyahu that they were not planning on selling the system to Syria.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad in 2015 and though the involvement turned the tide of war in favour of Syrian regime forces. "And it's not our fault" Shoigu said.

"Russia in this case is acting in its interests only, these actions are not directed against third countries, but towards defending our own military", he said.

Israel's former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, who now heads the influential Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said he assumed the air force would work quickly to destroy the S-300, if it were indeed handed over to Syria.

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On September 17, a Russian Il-20 plane was hit by a Syrian S-200 air defence missile when it was landing following strikes by Israeli F-16 planes of western Syria. Moreover, the Israelis misinformed the Russians about the location of their targets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks through the porthole while aboard the presidential plane on December 11, 2017, during the approach to the Russian air base in Hmeimim in the northwestern Syrian province of Latakia.

According to the statement, Putin reiterated that Russia holds Israel responsible for the downing of the Russian plane.

Russian Federation already has its own S-300 air defense system in Syria, along with the more advanced S-400 system. And last week, Russia reached a deal with Turkey that averted a Russian-backed offensive against the northwestern province of Idlib, one of the last areas out of government control. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the Russian deaths were "a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military".

In denying responsibility for the incident, Israel blamed Syria and its allies Iran and Hezbollah.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Israel's warning came less than a minute before the airstrike. "Most importantly, we will guarantee the identification of all Russian aircraft by the Syrian air defense systems", Shoigu said.