Russia will supply Syria with a more modern S-300 missile defense system in the coming weeks, Moscow said Monday.
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said President Vladimir Putin ordered the upgrade after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 shot down a Russian plane last Tuesday, killing all 15 people on board. Russia has blamed Israel, whose military was conducting airstrikes on Syria at the time, for the incident.
“[Russia will] transfer the modern S-300 air defense system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks.”
Russia has said the S-200 system is not advanced enough for the Syrian military to distinguish Russian planes as friendly ones.
Shoigu said Monday, “This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops” in Syria.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton advised Russia to reconsider the decision, saying the new missile system would be a “significant escalation” to already high tensions in the region.
Last week, Russian military spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Israeli forces were carrying out an attack in Syria’s Latakia province when they hid behind the Russian plane, using it to shield themselves from Syrian missiles.
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SOURCE: Voice of America News