On Tuesday, Russia said that it would go ahead with the delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria, noting that the deal would help deter foreign intervention in the country.
Later in the day, Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon commented on the plan, saying, “Clearly this move is a threat to us.”
“At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent,” he said. But “if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.”
The S-300 anti-aircraft system is designed to defend large industrial and administrative centers, army bases, and similar facilities and is capable of destroying ballistic missiles. The most recent modifications of the system can shoot down hostile missiles or aircraft up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) away.
Israel has repeatedly asked Russia to scrap the contract to sell Syria the truck-mounted S-300 missile system.
However, Russia has insisted that it will deliver the S-300 missile system to Syria.
Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Russia to try to dissuade Moscow from delivering the S-300s to Syria.
In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov insisted that Russia would not cancel the deal despite strong Western and Israeli opposition.
“We understand the concerns and signals sent to us from different capitals. We realize that many of our partners are concerned about the issue,” Ryabkov said. “We have no reason to revise our stance.”
“We believe that such steps to a large extent help restrain some hotheads considering a scenario to give an international dimension to this conflict,” he added.
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