Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that the planned delivery of an S-300 air defense system to Syria will be completed in the “near future,” They did not provide an exact date, though Russia is interested in shoring up Syria’s air defense capability.
That’s because on April 13, the US, France, and Britain attacked Syria, firing over 100 Tomahawk missiles at them along with other airstrikes. Syria intercepted many with its more primitive systems. Russia said the attacks removed all hurdles for providing Syria with the much better S-300.
Israeli officials are outraged, as they are any time Russia offers to sell any nation in the region the S-300. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said the military will destroy the S-300 outright if Syria dares to fire on any of their warplanes. Syria has only occasionally fired on Israeli warplanes, and then only when they are raiding Syrian airspace and bombing Syrian targets.
With their advanced capabilities, the S-300s have been very popular Russian exports, and are seen as capable of directly challenging US-made warplanes flying in their airspace. For Russia, this is very much the point, attempting to deter future US attacks.