Plane Downing Result of 'Premeditated' Actions by Israeli Pilots: Russia

Hugh Fox
September 25, 2018

Monday's statement from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will send the newer S-300 missile defense systems to Syria within the next two weeks.

Bolton was responding to Russia's announcement that it would give Syria's government the more modern S-300 missile defense systems after last week's downing of a Russian plane by Syria in a friendly fire incident.

Russian officials said the move is part of President Putin's plan to bolster security for Russian troops in Syria.

President Trump's top advisor on national security matters also reiterated his warning that any future chemical weapons attack attributed to the Syrian military - a basis already cited twice for recent USA airstrikes on Syria - would be met with a harsh response.

Putin informed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the missile delivery in a phone call on Monday, according to a statement issued by Syria's presidency.

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"We are certain that the realization of these measures will cool the "hot heads" and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen", 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.

He said the Russian plane was downed by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile off the coast of the Latakia governorate on 17 September in response to an Israeli raid on Syrian targets.

The downing of the plane came just hours after Russia announced it had reached a deal with Turkey to avert a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive against the northwestern province of Idlib, controlled by a mix of radical groups and Turkey-backed armed opposition. Moreover, the Israelis misinformed the Russians about the location of their targets.

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Geng called the sanctions 'unreasonable, ' saying the transactions with Russian Federation didn't break any global laws. Russian member of parliament Franz Klintsevich said earlier the sanctions would not affect the S-400 and SU-35 deals.

The deterioration in relations between Russian Federation and Israel, along with a transfer of the S-300 system, complicates Israel's efforts to contain Iranian influence. An Israeli military delegation travelled to Moscow last week to share information about the incident. The Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday Sept. 23, 2018, has renewed its accusations against Israel for causing the downing of a Russian military plane over Syria.

Russian Federation is the main ally of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who Israel has repeatedly targeted.

"You know that Israel and the Russian Federation have quite advanced relations", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Earlier, the Russian MoD presented a minute-by-minute timeline of the Il-20 downing.

The Russian Defence Ministry said Israeli fighter jets deliberately used the Russian plane as cover.

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