Russia may supply advanced anti-missile systems to Syria


(JTA) — Russia is considering supplying its advanced S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria in the wake of airstrikes on Syrian military targets.

In a report citing unnamed Russian officials, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday that Russia would supply the system at no cost as part of its military aid to Syria.

The newspaper cited the officials as saying that if Israel tried to bomb the systems, as they are predicted to do, it would be “catastrophic for all sides.”

Kommersant cited the airstrikes by the United States, the United Kingdom and France on April 13, however, and not the alleged Israeli attack on the T-4 air base, which is believed to be home to an advanced Iranian air-defense system,

Following the Kommersant report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the issue had not yet been decided.

“What decisions will be taken by the leadership of Russia together with the representatives of Syria have yet to be determined; there is no secret here,” Lavrov said.

Russia had agreed in 2010 to sell the S-300 system to Syria, but broke the agreement at Israel’s request.

Israel in the past has threatened to strike the S-300 system batteries should they be set up in Syria.

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