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Israel fears that Russia will endow Syria with S-300 missiles after the Western attack

Long-range ground-to-air defensive system can hinder new retaliatory actions

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Israel fears that Russia will endow Syria with S-300 missiles after the Western attack

The announcement that Russia plans to provide S-300 missiles to Bashar al-Assad after US-led attack on Saturday has sparked concern in Israel. The sale of long-range Earth-air defense system was paralyzed since start of Syrian war by Western reluctance to rearmament regime. Israel's armed forces believe that deployment of S-300 batteries can shield Damascus from future retaliatory actions, according to Hebrew Press's analysts yesterday.

Shortly after joint bombardment of United States, France and single kingdom against targets linked to Syrian chemical weapons programme, General Sergey Rudskói said that Russia was ready to examine supply of S-300 missiles to Syria. Equipped with batteries and Soviet-made systems more than 30 years old, Syrian anti-aircraft defense intercepted, according to Moscow, seven out of ten cruise missiles shot on Saturday by warships and western warplanes.

Israel has launched more than a hundred air operations over Syria during civil conflict that erupted seven years ago, mostly against convoys and weapons deposits for Hezbollah, Lebanese-allied Shia militia of El Asad with which it waged a war in 2006.

For more than a year, its military observers have assisted in progressive improvement of Syrian anti-aircraft systems. In March 2017, Israeli fighters who had participated in a raid in neighboring country were attacked with rockets, which had to be intercepted by Arrow anti-missile shield developed jointly by Israel and USA. Last February, an Israeli F-16 was shot down by Syrian rockets after a punitive operation against an air base with Iranian forces.

Israeli media advocacy experts, generally informed by military intelligence, agreed yesterday to highlight that Jewish state fears to see "freedom of action" threatened by its Air force if missile systems S-300 end up settling in Syrian bases. This defensive system of rockets and radars can jeopardize operations of Israeli Air Force within a radius of up to 300 km.

Unclear incident in Aleppo

Israel maintains a "communication mechanism" with Russian forces highlighted in Syria since September 2015 in support of Damascus regime. Liaison officers send information to Russian staff of movements of ir warplanes on Syria to avoid accidental clashes. Washington has a similar system of communication with Moscow.

Russia has deployed S-400, most advanced anti-missile system it has, to protect its military facilities in Syria. Moscow maintains permanent bases in Tartu (naval) and Hamenim (aerial), in coastal province of La Takia. None of m were affected by joint American, British, and French attack. Moscow dominates Syrian airspace with presence of dozens of fighter jets — including new Su-57 starfighters, which are undetectable for radar — and superiority of ir anti-aircraft missile batteries.

After Western intervention in Syria tension continued to grow. A confusing incident in Jabel Azan, in outskirts of Aleppo (north), on Saturday night on Sunday, led to a new Israeli attack on Iranian bases in Arab country, such as that recorded a week ago in province of Homs (centre).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported an explosion with victims in military facilities occupied by Shi'a militias. Citing sources of opposition to Syrian regime, Arab media attributed facts to a bombing with Israeli drones, in which several Afghan Shia militiamen and an Iranian officer had been killed.

The Al-Mayadin television channel, linked to Hezbollah, which is deployed in same area, pointed out that explosion was due to an accident in a munitions depot.

Chemical weapons inspectors in Damascus

The investigators of Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) began yesterday to analyze alleged chemical attack in Duma (periphery of Damascus) that motivated western bombardment against Syrian targets. A team of inspectors arrived in Syrian capital after attack. "It is scheduled to go to Duma today to begin its work," Syrian foreign minister, Ayman Susan, told France Presse.

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