fredag 11. mai 2018

S-300 Deliveries to Syria Not Announced - Kremlin Spokesman

 S-300 Favorite surface-to-air missile systems during a bilateral drill of air defense and aviation forces of the Western Military Distric
© Sputnik / Russian Defence Ministry
There’s been much speculation circulating in the media around the possibility of Russia supplying its S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria after the latter was attacked by three Western nations – the United States, France and the United Kingdom – in response to an alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in the city of Douma.
Russia is neither supplying S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to Syria, nor negotiating a potential delivery to Damascus, Vladimir Kozhin, presidential aide for military technical cooperation, told Russian media, adding that the Syrian forces had “everything they needed.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment Mr. Kozhin’s remarks, stressing that it would be wrong to connect those statements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow.

“We never announced these deliveries as such. However, we said that after the strikes [by the US, France and the UK on Syria], Russia reserves the right to do whatever it deems necessary,” Peskov explained.

On May 9, Netanyahu arrived in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin; following the talks, the prime minister told reporters that there were no grounds for concerns over Russia’s attempts to curb Israeli military actions in Syria.
 
Previously, Israeli officials had expressed concerns over the potential supply of Russian S-300s to Syria, with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatening to destroy the systems if Damascus used them against Tel Aviv.

Reacting to reports about potential S-300 deliveries to Damascus, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport expressed readiness to supply the Arab Republic with air defense systems if Russia’s top leadership gave the green light.

In late April, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad told reporters that S-300 systems had been delivered to the war-ravaged country a month ago; his words, however, were denied by a Russian military and diplomatic source.

In the wake of last month’s tripartite strikes on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the BBC that Moscow was ready to consider any options to help Syrian forces to curb further aggression even though “several years ago we [Russia] decided not to supply S-300 systems to Syria at our partners’ request.”
 
Later, the minister specified that President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue of S-300 supplies to the Arab Republic with the Defense Ministry; however, the decisions “have yet to be determined.”

On April 14, France, the US, and the UK carried out joint airstrikes against Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defense systems managed to down 71 out of the 103 missiles fired by the trilateral alliance at several targets in Syria.

“Syria’s means of air defense: S-125, S-200 air defense systems, [as well as] Buk and Kvadrat units were used to repel the missile strike,” the ministry stated.