United States warns Russian Federation over missile defence for Syria

Mike Pompeo

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Russia claimed that its S-300 defense system will be able to close parts of the Syrian airspace "where necessary", a Russian Foreign Ministry director said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Global and regional powers backing various sides in Syria's civil war have been carrying out strikes for years, often using special hotlines to prevent aerial confrontations. Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300s, which Israel feared Syria could use against it.

Meanwhile, he added, "The Security Cabinet has instructed the IDF to continue to take action against attempts by Iran to establish a military presence in Syria while continuing the security coordination with Russian Federation".

A computer simulation released by the Russian Defense Ministry September 23, 2018, purports to show Israeli jets near a Russian reconnaissance plane, in red, off Syria's coast before it was accidentally shot down by Syria forces responding to the Israeli airstrike. Israel said Syria was responsible.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that supplying advanced weapon systems to "irresponsible players" would increase dangers in the region, Netanyahu's office said.

The prime minister added that he discussed with Russia's president the issue of how Israel would continue its military relationship with Moscow's defense establishment following the incident. A search operation is being carried out on the Il-20 crash site, 27 km west of the Baniyas port, to recover from water the bodies of 15 deceased crew members and the plane wreckage.

"We will continue to act to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and we will continue the military coordination between the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) and the Russian army", Netanyahu told reporters before boarding a flight to NY, where he will address the U.N. General Assembly. "Today the situation has changed, and through no fault of ours", he stressed.

But Shoigu said that the Israeli military warned Russian Federation about last week's strike just one minute before launching it and claimed it was being conducted in Syria's north.

"The S-300 is one of the world's most advanced and sophisticated anti-aircraft systems and yes it is a challenge for us", Oren said. On Sunday, tribal leaders and prominent local figures meeting in Idlib said they distrusted Russian mediation, citing Russia's previous cease-fire violations.

Channel 10 news quoted a senior American official who noted that the system could also endanger US Air Force jets operating against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Turkish troop reinforcements entered Syria's rebel bastion of Idlib on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent reported, a week after a deal between Ankara and Moscow averted a government offensive. The conference called on armed groups not to leave the front lines in Syria or hand over their weapons.

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