Israel Threatens to Strike Russia-Manned S-300s in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Israeli regime threatened to hit the Russia-made S-300 missile defense launchers in Syria, even those manned by the Russian military itself, should the launchers target Tel Aviv’s fighters.

Speaking during a press conference for Russian media on Monday, Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin said Moscow’s supply of the S-300 system to Damascus was “a big mistake” that “might lead to destabilization of the situation”, Middle East News reported.

“The Syrian military are not always capable of correctly using the hardware transferred to them. In case of improper operation, civilian aircrafts may be harmed,” Elkin added.

He further warned that the Israeli regime would take “practical action” in response to alleged attacks from Syria and stressed that Russia “bears partial responsibility” for Syria’s use of the system.

“Actions would undoubtedly take place, should [an attack] occur, against the launchers used to attack” the occupied territories or Israeli planes, he said, adding that “I hope greatly that there would be no Russian military specialists [at S-300 sites]”.

In early October, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had successfully delivered the S-300 air defense system to Syria. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the move to supply Syria with the S-300 system was purely defensive and should not threaten any neighboring country.

The announcement came in the wake of the accidental downing of Russia’s Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 servicemen on board by Syria’s S-200 launchers, which were at the time responding to a wave of Israeli strikes on state institutions in Lattakia Province.

Moscow held Israel responsible for the incident, saying the regime’s pilots had intentionally used the Russian plane as cover to conduct air raids, effectively putting it in the crosshairs of the Syrian air defenses.