USA warns Russian Federation over providing Syria with missile defense system

Syrians run for cover after government air strikes on the Eastern Ghouta rebel-held enclave of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus

Russia again says Israel is to blame for the downing of its military plane by Syrian forces - Los Angeles Time

Russia announced on Monday it will supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks against strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow blamed Israel for indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military plane in Syria.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in Syria to support President Bashar Assad in 2015, and though the involvement turned the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces, Moscow has tried to play a careful balancing act, maintaining good ties both with Iran and Israel.

Shoigu said the new system will "significantly increase" the Syrian army's combat capabilities.

President Vladimir Putin discussed the decision by phone on Monday with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kremlin said.

Syria's Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said following the announcement that Damascus required the S-300 "in order to defend Syrian land from Israel's aggressive actions".

"This is a very ungrateful response to everything Russian Federation has done for Israel". Although Putin had sought last week to tamp down tensions over the downing of the plane, calling the incident an "accident", he told Assad that he "held Israel responsible" for the deaths of the 15 Russian service members, the statement said. They also said the Israelis may have deliberately used the Russian plane as a cover, expecting that the Syrians would not dare to fire at their F-16 fighter jets with the Russian plane nearby.

"According to information of our military experts, the reason (behind the downing) were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly can not but harm our relations", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

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In the immediate aftermath of the incident, President Vladimir Putin appeared to take a softer line with Israel than the military, noting that it was Syrian air defenses that shot down the plane.

According to the, nearly seven Ilyushin Il-76 military transporters of Russian Air Force have arrived at Khmeimim military airbase on 22 September.

Shoigu said that "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault", adding that the supply of an S-300 would "calm down some hotheads" whose actions "pose a threat to our troops". It is possible that these aircraft delivered of the S-300 air defense systems to Syria. More broadly, Israel also sees Russian Federation as key to protecting its interests in Syria by preventing a build up of Iranian-linked bases and infrastructure.

Russian Federation had originally agreed to sell the system to Syria in 2010, but scrapped the plan at Israel's behest.

FILE- In this file photo taken on Saturday, March 4, 2017, The Russian Il-20 electronic intelligence plane of the Russian air force with the registration number RF 93610, which was accidentally downed by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli air strike flies near Kubinka airport, outside Moscow, Russia. "I think they will become more risk-averse, though, at the same time, try and signal the opposite", he said.

On the contrary, Israel frequently attacks military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up militant groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.

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