White House & Pentagon Warn Russia, Iran on Syria

Saul Bowman
September 28, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to seek to move past the incident in spite of strong statements from the Russian military.

Russian Federation will provide advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria and directly link up with the air-defence network of its Middle Eastern ally, stepping up support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad after the downing of a reconnaissance plane last week.

The incident led Russian Federation this week to announce new security measures to protect its military in Syria, including supplying the Syrian Army with an S-300 system and jamming radars of nearby warplanes.

"Responsibility for the unfortunate incident lies with the Syrian army, which downed the plane, and Iran, whose aggression destabilises (the region)", Netanyahu's statement said.

Despite differing views of what happened, Netanyahu's office said the Russian and Israeli leaders "agreed to continue dialogue between professional teams and intermilitary coordination via military channels".

Russian Federation launched its campaign in support of President Bashar Assad in 2015, eventually turning the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces.

He also said Israel was "determined to stop Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and the attempts by Iran, which calls for the destruction of Israel, to transfer to Hezbollah lethal weaponry [to be used] against Israel".

Russian officials said Syria's outdated S-200 systems weren't sophisticated enough to identify the Russian plane as a friendly one.

The ministry stressed that the supply the S-300 missile defense system to Syria will not lead to escalation in Syria, but to stability, noting that this system is defensive, and the United States is being "malicious" when it says that Russia's export of the missiles threaten the USA security.

Russian Federation has already sold the system to Iran, much to Israel's dismay given the weapon's ability to threaten Israeli air superiority and complicate air strikes in the event of a conflict.

Russian Federation has largely refrained from arming the Syrian air defence forces with S-300 due to protests from Israel, which would come under threat from the improved defences.

Hence the unbridled assault of the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman and the telling story of the Israelis who used the Russian spy plane as bait and thus were to blame for its plummeting from the sky. 23, 2018, has renewed its accusations against Israel for causing the downing of a Russian military plane over Syria.

Military analyst Vladimir Sotnikov said that despite the new security measures Moscow would want to avoid a direct military clash with Israel, a key United States ally.

Mattis did not explicitly support or dispute Bolton's statement, although his description of the role and mission of USA troops in Syria did not include outlasting Iran.

Israel is still expressing its "deep regret" over the loss of the crew of the Russian plane that was shot down last week by Syria during the IAF air strike over Latakia and its condolences to the families of the air crew in Russia and the Russian people as a whole.

Syrian state TV said insurgents shelled a government-controlled crossing east of Idlib on Monday that was reportedly prepared to allow civilians to leave the province.

Hard-line armed groups have rejected the deal, saying it aims to strip the opposition of weapons and is a victory for Assad's government. "They opened fire in an unorganized manner", he said.

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