Israel fears that the supply of Russian S-300 missile systems to Syria will jeopardize the "freedom of action" of the Israeli Air Force in its neighboring state, El País reports. In addition, Israel is concerned that the deployment of more modern systems in Syria could protect Damascus from "future retaliatory measures."
According to El País, Israel’s apprehension was due to an announcement by the Russian Federation that, in connection with US-led missile strikes by the western Allies, Russia plans to consider supplying S-300 systems to Syria.
The publication notes that, at present, the Syrian air defense system consists of Soviet-era weapons. Nevertheless, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are concerned that the deployment of more modern air defense systems in the country could protect Damascus from "future retaliatory measures".
In addition, Israel is also worried that the deployment of the S-300 could jeopardize the "freedom of action" of the Israeli Air Force in the neighboring state.
Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, earlier stated that Russia may reconsider the possibility of selling S-300 air defense systems to Damascus due to the missile strikes by the United States and its allies against Syria.
Russia had considered such a possibility in the past but refused to sell the anti-missile systems to Syria at the beginning of the conflict due to a request of NATO countries. More advanced S-400 Russian anti-aircraft defense systems have already been deployed in Syria; these systems are designed to protect Russia's military facilities in the Arab Republic. Russia has two military bases in Syria: a naval base in the city of Tartus and an air base in Khmeimim.