Sources from the Russian Defense Ministry deny that Syria has already received any of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles they have been contracted to deliver, though Russian officials maintain that they still intend to complete the deal.
The speculation was fueled by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s interview today with Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV, in which he made comments about having received unspecified weapons shipments from Russia, without directly addressing the S-300.
Since the comments came in response to a question about the S-300, there was speculation, particularly in the Israeli press, that this amounted to a confirmation of some of the shipment already being delivered.
The issue is an important one because over the past few days Israeli officials have presented the delivery of S-300’s as a “red line” for war with Syria, and have even threatened to attack the Russian Navy over attempts to deliver the shipments.
S-300 missiles are the most advanced in Russia’s arsenal, and in the wake of recent Israeli attacks Syria has been eager to complete the contracts to acquire them. The defensive system would make Israeli or Western attacks on Syria much more difficult to carry out.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Saudi Coalition to Open Humanitarian Corridors Out of Yemen's Hodeidah Port - September 24th, 2018
- Trump Expects Announcement of Second Summit With North Korea 'Pretty Soon' - September 24th, 2018
- US Troops Will Remain in Syria, Officials Say - September 24th, 2018
- Bolton Slams Russia, Says S-300 Sale in Syria Is 'Significant Escalation' - September 24th, 2018
- Russia Will Provide S-300 Air Defense to Syria - September 24th, 2018