US and Israel Warn Russia Against Supplying Syria with S-300 Air Defense Systems
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Monday by phone, Putin informed Assad of his intention to supply Syria’s military with sophisticated S-300 air defense systems within two weeks.
They’re able to intercept and destroy multiple hostile aircraft, ballistic, and other missiles at distances of over 250 km (over 155 miles).
Installing electronic countermeasures along Syria’s coastline to jam satellite navigation, aerial radar systems, and communications of hostile aircraft will significantly bolster Syrian defenses as well.
Steps Russia is taking are long overdue, up to now giving the US, NATO and Israel carte blanche to terror-bomb Syrian targets unobstructed.
Regime change has always been their objective since Obama launched war on the country in March 2011.
Washington and its NATO partners use the phony pretext of combating ISIS these countries support as the reason for their military activities in Syria.
Israel claims its terror-bombing is all about combating an Iranian and Hezbollah threat that doesn’t exist. They’ve never targeted the Jewish state aggressively. Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries – what the US, NATO and Israel do repeatedly.
In 2013, Putin went along with Netanyahu’s request not to supply S-300s to Syria’s military. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said “(n)ow the situation has changed, and we are not to blame.”
After Israeli “criminal negligence” led to the September 17 downing of a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance plane, Shoigu said the incident wouldn’t go unanswered. Indeed not!
Putin told Netanyahu that beefing up Syrian air defense capabilities is all about “preventing any potential threat to the lives of Russian servicemen,” his obligation as president.
US/Israeli pressure and threats aren’t likely to get him to back off this time. Russia’s Defense Ministry is especially furious about the downing of its aircraft, killing 15 crew members, likely more greatly angered by Israel’s arrogant denial of responsibility for what happened.
Indisputable facts debunk the IDF’s fabricated account of the incident, making the situation worse, exacerbated further by Israeli arrogance and veiled threats, compounded by Washington’s.
A statement by Netanyahu’s office said “(t)he prime minister said providing advanced weapons systems to irresponsible actors (sic) will magnify dangers in the region, and that Israel will continue to defend itself and its interests.”
Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton called Russia’s move a “major mistake,” adding it’ll cause “significant escalation” of tensions.
Washington’s military presence in Syria won’t end, he vowed, “as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders and that includes Iranian proxies and militias.”
Iranian military advisors alone are in Syria legally at the request of Damascus, no combat troops. Hezbollah forces also operate lawfully in the country, invited by Assad to combat ISIS and other US-supported terrorist groups.
Relatively few Iranian military forces operate outside their own territory – none aggressively.
Hundreds of thousands of US combat troops are deployed in scores of countries on every continent – along with countless numbers of so-called private military contractors (PMCs), operating unaccountably, and terrorist groups used as imperial foot soldiers.
Pompeo said he’ll raise the issue of Syria’s hardened defense capabilities with Sergey Lavrov at the UN General Assembly this week, adding:
“We are trying to find every place we can where there is common ground, where we can work with the Russians.” They’ll be held “accountable” when working against US interests.
Syria’s envoy to Russia Riyad Haddad said his nation’s military vitally needs S-300s “to defend Syrian land from Israel’s aggressive actions.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said hardening Syria’s defense capabilities isn’t aimed at America, Israel or any other nations. It’s to protect Russian forces and other personnel in the country.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov called supplying Syria’s military with S-300s the “right” thing to do.
The Saker said Russian measures “will establish an unofficial no-fly zone over Syria,” adding:
The IL-20’s downing “fundamentally undermined Israel’s relationship with Russia.” I believe it changed the relationship short of going this far.
The status quo up to now ended. Events ahead will show to what extent Russia’s moves changed the dynamic in Syria.
US-led NATO and Israel can still attack Syrian targets but not as easily as before once Russia’s moves are implemented.
Their tactics will likely change. Militarily they have lots of options. They’re not about to back off from their regime change objective.
War in Syria is far from resolved because Washington and its imperial partners want it continued endlessly.
The same is true in all US post-9/11 war theaters, Iran another potential one, even North Korea given Trump regime hardliners unbending hostility toward both countries and other sovereign independent ones – notably Russia and China.
It’s hard to be optimistic about what lies ahead. Things may become much worse than already, a dismal potential prospect.
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