Russian Federation to supply Syria with S-300 missile system

Russia says ‘misled’ by Israel in plane downing over Syria

The Israeli military has denied responsibility for the downing of the Russian jet, insisting Sunday that Israeli jets did not hide behind other aircraft and that they were in Israeli airspace when the Russian plane was downed.

The lack of professionalism of the Syrian military, Liberman said, "led to the Russian planes being shot down".

According to the ministry, data from the radar demonstrate that the Israeli F-16 fighter jets were staying in the area of the Russian Il-20's crash thus refuting the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) statement that they were already in Israel's airspace.

Netanyahu says he is confident of the Israeli account and warns Putin against "transferring advanced weapons systems" to Syria.

"Israel is a very important partner for Moscow".

But he believes that Russian Federation will try to use the September 17 incident as a "bargaining chip in the larger game that they are playing with the United States and the worldwide community". Should Israel take risks or use more costly weapon systems, it may be able to conduct air strikes in Syria even after the planned upgrade, he said.

Alexander Khramchikhin of the Moscow-based Institute of Military and Political Analysis said the S-300 could "seriously affect Israel's ability to carry out its strikes in Syria".

Russian Federation has already sold the system to Iran, much to Israel's dismay given the weapon's ability to threaten Israeli air superiority and complicate air strikes in the event of a conflict.

Shortly before the downing, Israeli strikes had hit targets inside Syria, reportedly preventing an arms shipment going to Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.

Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed the additional measures and delivery of the S-300 system on the phone Monday, the Kremlin said.

This, and the position of all the aircraft at the moment of the September 17, proves that an Israeli jet was de facto using the larger Il-20 as a cover, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists at Monday's.

But he also repeated Moscow's accusations that Israel was to blame for the crash: "No doubt that according to our military experts, deliberate action by Israeli pilots was the reason for the tragedy and this can not but harm our (Russia-Israeli) ties".

"Instead of moving to safety and prohibiting the launch of the S-200 missiles, the Russian plane flew into the danger zone where it was downed at 22.03 P.M.", Sharf tweeted.

Last week, the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was mistakenly shot down by the Syrian air defenses, which were intercepting Israeli missile attack on Syrian basis in Latakia province in northwestern Syria.

"It should be obvious to everyone that Russia's actions aimed at ensuring security for its troops are necessary", he said.

The S-300 air defense systems will be in the hands of Mr. Assad's forces within the next two weeks, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.

A day later, Moscow says it plans to supply the Syrian army with a new S-300 air defence system and jam radars of nearby warplanes.

In October 2006, the nuclear programme of Israel's arch enemy Iran dominates the first visit to Moscow of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Israel, which has struck Syria scores of times during the seven-year war, said after the incident that it would work to improve "deconfliction" of its missions, but would not halt them.

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