Moscow/Damascus: – The Russian S-300 air defence system, capable of neutralising fighter jets and missiles, has been delivered to Syria. Russia has declared that as of now, only its military would be using the S-300 system in Syria. Russia had held Israel responsible for the downing of its aircraft in Latakia two weeks ago. By dispatching the S-300 system to Syria, Russia has issued a warning to Israel indicating any further attacks on Syria would not be tolerated.
Russia had dispatched the S-300 system to Syria, blaming Israel for the downing of its aircraft at Latakia, on 17th of September. Initially, Russian President Vladimir Putin had absolved Israel from the responsibility of the crash stating it was a result of some unfortunate events. However, he then made a suggestive comment saying the country would certainly avenge the crash and everybody would be a witness to it. Against this backdrop, the Russian S-300 system has been delivered to Syria on Tuesday.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed the information about delivery of the S-300 in Syria. Defence Minister Shoigu said that the system would be deployed to ensure the safety and security of the Russian military personnel deployed in Syria. A total of 49 components of the S-300 system have been delivered in Syria, which include four launchers, a radar and other components.
However, Russia has claimed that the system is still incomplete. It is a part of the ‘Organised Air Defence System’ that Russia would be providing Syria and the country would be completely ready with the system within the next fortnight, informed the Defence Minister. Russia will train the Syrian military for using the system over the next three months. Until that time, the rights to use the system would remain with the Russian defence personnel deployed in Syria.
An Iranian daily informed that Iran has made its T-4 airbase in Syria available for the deployment of the S-300 system. The daily said that Iran had withdrawn from the airbase to enable the Russian soldiers and agencies to take control of it. Moreover, Israel had attacked the Iranian base three times in the last one year, alleging that Iran has a secret stash of missiles and arms warehouse at the T-4 airbase near the Syrian capital of Damascus. In view of these events, Russia deciding to install the S-300 at the base is considered to be a warning to Israel.
A few analysts from Europe and Israel have claimed that the system is being provided to Syria to augment its air defence and Russia has not charged the Assad government for it. They have also said that Russia deployed the system directly near the Syrian capital of Damascus to retaliate against the Israeli air attacks. Previously, Syria had warned Israel while justifying the deployment of the Russian S-300 system. Also, the Syrian foreign ministry had threatened Israel that it would have to think twice before attacking the country again.