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Russian Federation to send S-300 missile defence systems to Syria

24 September 2018

"In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory", Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement.

The Kremlin said the installation of S-300 was aimed at increasing safety of Russian military and "not directed at any third country". Israeli military, however, said that Syria's indiscriminate air defence fire was the cause of plane crash.

The decision came a week after Israeli F-16 planes struck targets near Moscow's air base in Latakia, western Syria, prompting the Syrian government to respond.

Israel denied this version of events and its air force commander flew to Moscow following the incident, which Putin called the result of a "chain of tragic accidental circumstances".

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Russian Federation said Sunday the Israeli government is exclusively to blame for the downing of one of its aircraft by Syria last week because it deliberately was misleading on planned airstrikes.

Russian defence officials described manoeuvres by Israeli fighter jets during the incident as "hostile" and said it had a right to retaliate.

According to Haaretz, Israel fears that Russian Federation can influence its military activity through demanding greater warning time, deciding to close the airspace or requiring more advanced air defense systems be put in place as a signal to Israel, among other things.

The incident was also the worst case of friendly fire between Russian Federation and Syria since Moscow's military intervention in the country in support of President Bashar al-Assad's forces in September 2015.

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Konashenkov said an Israeli officer told them of an Israeli operation in northern Syria while the jets were actually in Latakia, in the country's west.

Israel has carried out about 200 air raids in the last two years, according to Israeli officials.

"The Israeli military command either does not value the current level of relations with Russia or does not control certain military units", Russian Defense Ministry Maj.

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