Israeli Media Alarmed Over Russia’s S-300 Supply to Syria
The statement, made by the Russian Defense Ministry, that Moscow might reconsider a sale of the S-300 systems to Damascus following the US and allied airstrike, has raised concern among Israeli analysts and journalists, who are concerned over possible threats it may pose to the Jewish state.
The Jerusalem Post has warned that “Israel’s air superiority is at risk of being challenged in one of the most difficult” areas if Russia decides to sell Syria more advanced air defense systems. The newspaper has voiced fears that the Israeli pilots might get killed if Damascus had its hands on more effective missiles. The unit in question is the S-300, a Russian long range surface-to-air missile system, developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles. The system is one the most advanced weapons in its class.
Analyst from I24 news broadcaster Ron Ben-Yishai backs these concerns, saying that the Jewish state would have to take “cautionary and preventive measures not yet taken so far.”
Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said that Russia might consider selling the S-300 systems to Damascus shortly after US-led strikes on April 14.
Moscow had already decided against selling them to Damascus, Syria some time ago due to “the pressing request of some of our Western partners.” But as the General stated, taking the latest events into the account, Russia can consider the question not only for Syria, but for other states.
According to the media, the more up-to-date S-300 systems could be a needed upgrade for Syrian air defense, which now consists of Soviet-era weapons. According to the JP, the most advanced Russian system Damascus possesses is a short range set Pantsir S-1, able to shoot down drones and missiles in Syrian airspace.