Russia considering supplying advanced S-300 anti-missile systems to Syria

JTA

(JTA) — Russia is considering supplying its advanced S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria, in the wake of airstrikes on Syrian military targets.

The Kommersant newspaper on Monday reported that Russia was considering providing the anti-missile system at no cost as part of its military aid to Syria, citing unnamed Russian officials.

The newspaper cited the officials as saying that if Israel tried to bomb the systems, as they are predicted to do, it would be “catastrophic for all sides.”

The airstrikes cited in the Kommersant report are those by the United States, the United Kingdom and France on April 13, however, and not the alleged Israeli attack on the T-4 air base, believed to be home to an advanced Iranian air-defense system,

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Following the Kommersant report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the issue had not yet been decided.

“What decisions will be taken by the leadership of Russia together with the representatives of Syria have yet to be determined; there is no secret here,” Lavrov said.

Russia had agreed in 2010 to sell the S-300 system to Syria, but broke the agreement at Israel’s request.

Israel has in the past threatened to strike the S-300 system batteries should they be set up in Syria.

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