Israel threatens to hit Russian systems in Syria

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By Middle East Affairs

Israel’s defense minister said Tuesday that the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems in Syria would likely be targeted if they are used against Israel.

“One thing should be clear – if someone fires on our planes, we will destroy them,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is quoted as saying by the Israeli website Ynet. “What’s important to us is that the weapons defense systems that the Russians transfer to Syria are not used against us. If they are used against us, we will act against them.”

Russia has plans soon to supply Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems. According to Russian newspaper the Kommersant, the S-300 PMU-2 “favorite” will be given to the Assad regime for free.

Syria’s air defenses are actually all Russian made, and Israel has a recent pattern of striking them. The official who spoke with Kommersant said if Israel dared to strike the S-3000 anti-aircraft defense systems, there would be “catastrophic consequences.”

According to the Kommersant, the experts believe Israel will feel threatened by the presence of the new systems and might bomb the area in response.

Russia isn’t the first to experience threats and hostility from Israel for its presence in Syria. Israel, which borders Syria, has warned many times against Iran’s alliance with Assad and its presence Syria. Israel refers to Iran as it’s biggest regional foe and believes Iran is using its alliance with Assad to build a military foundation near the Israeli border in order to carry out attacks.

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