Russia Starts Delivery of S-300 Missiles to Syria

Howard TerryOct 01, 2018

The S-300, capable of taking out aircraft and missiles, was set to be delivered within two weeks and Syrian officials have lauded the move.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., September 28, 2018. Israel has accused Iran of quietly setting up bases in the conflict-ravaged country and has targeted military positions there, triggering Syrian air defenses that accidentally brought down a Russian military plane last week in an incident that Damascus and Moscow have both blamed on an Israeli raid. Restoration of infrastructure in Syria and the return of refugees to their home must top the agenda of the United Nations activities in that country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

He specifically cited the United States unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear accord with Iran, calling it an example of "belligerent revisionism".

The U.S. National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, criticized the Russian deal with Syria, calling it "a significant escalation by the Russians", hoping that Moscow would "reconsider" the sale.

"The delivery started already and as President Putin said, after that incident. the measures that we will take will be devoted to ensuring 100 percent safety and security of our men", Lavrov said.

Meeting in NY on Thursday, foreign ministers from the United States, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Britain and Saudi Arabia called on de Mistura to convene the constitutional committee and report back on progress by the end of October.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Friday he hoped the missile system would help close the country's sky for Israeli warplanes. A week previously, Moscow had accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet in Syria.

But the new situation in which a major government entity in the form of the Russian Defense Ministry talks about Israel in language reminiscent of the cold war has unleashed anti-Semitic language in Russia in general. Israel and Russian Federation have maintained a special hotline to prevent their air forces from clashing in the skies over Syria.

Lavrov said that there are attempts to drag countries into military alliances that contradict the will of their people, affirming that the U.S. presence in Syria is illegal and contradicts United Nations resolutions, mainly resolution no. 2254.

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