Saturday, May 26, 2018 | ePaper

Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies

  • Print


An S-300 air defense missile system launches a missile during the Keys to the Sky competition at the International Army Games 2017 at the Ashuluk shooting range outside Astrakhan, Russia

Reuters, Moscow :
Russia is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed, the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying on Friday, in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard not to transfer the missiles.
Russia last month hinted it would supply the weapons to Assad, over Israeli objections, after Western military strikes on Syria. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the strikes had removed any moral obligation Russia had to withhold the missiles and Russia's Kommersant daily cited unnamed military sources as saying deliveries might begin imminently.
But Kozhin's comments, made so soon after Netanyahu's Moscow talks with Putin, suggest the Israeli leader's lobbying efforts have, for the time being, paid off.
"For now, we're not talking about any deliveries of new modern (air defense) systems," Izvestia cited Kozhin as saying when asked about the possibility of supplying Syria with S-300s.
The Syrian military already had "everything it needed," Kozhin added.
Israel has made repeated efforts to persuade Moscow not to sell the S-300s to Syria, as it fears this would hinder its aerial capabilities against arms shipments to Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah. Israel has carried out scores of air strikes against suspected shipments.
On Thursday, Israel said it had attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory. S-300s could have significantly complicated the Israeli strikes.
The missile system, originally developed by the Soviet military, but since modernized and available in several versions with significantly different capabilities, fires missiles from trucks and is designed to shoot down military aircraft and short and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Though since been superseded by the more modern S-400 system, the S-300s are still regarded as highly potent and outstrip anything that the Syrian government currently has. Syria currently relies on a mixture of less advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft systems to defend its air space.
Russian media on Friday were actively circulating a video released by the Israeli military which showed an Israeli missile destroying one such system-a Russian-made Pantsir S-1 air defense battery-on Thursday in Syria.

More News For this Category

Iran gives Europe to end of May to save nuclear deal

Iran gives Europe to end of May to save nuclear deal

AP, Erbil :The signatories of the Iranian nuclear deal - without the United States - are meeting in Vienna on Friday in a bid to save the agreement. Iran

Kim Jong Un not a weak leader says Mike Pompeo

Kim Jong Un not a weak leader says Mike Pompeo

PTI, Washington : Kim Jong-un is not a weak leader and that he has shown tremendous capacity to lead North Korea, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is

News In Brief

Prince William to visit Jerusalem, RamallahReuters, LondonQueen Elizabeth's grandson Prince William will visit Jerusalem and Ramallah when he becomes the first senior member of Britain's royal family to visit

Four Saudi activists freed, one arrested as crackdown persists

Four Saudi activists freed, one arrested as crackdown persists

AFP, Dubai : Saudi authorities have released four detained activists but arrested another one, pressing ahead with a sweeping crackdown just a month before the kingdom lifts its ban on women

Collapse of Trump-Kim summit threatens to deepen US-China rift

Collapse of Trump-Kim summit threatens to deepen US-China rift

Reuters,  Beijing :US President Donald Trump's cancellation of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens further strain on U.S.-China ties amid a trade dispute that had

Thai court extends detention of pro-democracy activists

AP, Bangkok :A court in Thailand extended the detention Thursday of 15 pro-democracy activists arrested earlier this week after several thousand police were deployed to halt their small protest

Hariri on track to become PM for third time

Hariri on track to become PM for third time

Reuters, Beirut :Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri is on track to become prime minister for a third time after winning the backing of a majority of MPs in official consultations on

Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

AP, Bunnik, Netherlands :An international team of investigators said Thursday that detailed analysis of video images and photos has unequivocally established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia

News In Brief

Spanish ruling party convicted in corruption caseAP, MadridSpain's National Court has issued hefty prison sentences for politicians and businesspeople involved in a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped fund the governing

Trump says

Trump says "there's a good chance" North Korea meeting will happen June 12

CBS News :President Trump says that "there's a good chance" his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Singapore on June 12, as planned,