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People's Daily Online

Russia decides to provide S-300 missile system to Syria after Israel-linked plane downing

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 07:27, September 25, 2018

DAMASCUS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday told his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad that Russia will provide Syria with S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system, state news agency SANA reported.

Putin made the announcement during his phone call with Assad over the situation in Syria and the downing of a Russian aircraft during an Israeli airstrike on Syria on Sept. 17, SANA said.

Putin held Israel responsible for the accident, in which the Russian aircraft was shot down by the Syrian air defenses.

He told Assad that Russia will upgrade the Syrian air defenses and deliver an S-300 missile system to the Syrian army.

Russia suspended the delivery of S-300 to Syria in 2013 upon the request of Israel.

Last week, a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was brought down by the Syrian air defenses, which were countering an Israeli missile attack on a Syrian military base in the northwestern province of Latakia.

All 15 Russian crew members aboard died.

After the accident, the Russians accused Israel of failing to give Russia adequate notice of its airstrike in Syria.

On Sunday, Russia's Defense Ministry charged that the Israeli F-16 jets used the Russian reconnaissance plane as cover for its airstrikes.

"The actions of the Israeli fighter pilots, which resulted in the loss of life of 15 Russian servicemen, either lacked professionalism or were an act of criminal negligence, to say the least," the Russian ministry said.

Russia, which entered the Syrian war in support of the government forces in 2015, has two military bases in Syria: the Khmeimim air base in the countryside of Latakia and a naval facility in the city of Tartus near Latakia.

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