During his recent visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have threatened to destroy Russia’s S-300 anti-aircraft systems if they attempt to deliver them to Syria.
Russian officials were reportedly “shocked by the audacity” of Netanyahu’s threats, but in the end Russia still says they are willing to deliver the purely defensive weaponry to Syria.
Though there are rumors of Russia being willing to temporarily delay such shipments, they are said to only be willing to do that if Western nations stop threatening Syria, and have also suggested they would accelerate the shipments if Israel keeps attacking Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that the weapons pose a threat to Israel and that allowing Assad to have defensive arms “is totally wrong.” Israel has repeatedly attacked Syria in recent weeks, and expressed confidence that Syria wouldn’t dare retaliate.
At the same time, Israeli officials have expressed major concerns about Syria acquiring defensive systems that would make future attacks less convenient, and have threatened to sink Russian ships attempting to make such deliveries.