Netanyahu to Putin: S-300 missile defense system in Syria is unacceptable

Israel outlines its ‘red line’ to Moscow in what Jerusalem sees as regional game-changer, vis-a-vis missile defense system allowed to be sent to Assad regime.

By Nitzan Keidar


Israel has sent a clear message to Russia in the past 24 hours that the sale of the advanced S-300 missile defense system to the Syrian regime will cross a red line.

A political source who revealed the message in a conversation with Arutz Sheva stated that the message was conveyed following a Russian Defense Ministry announcement that Moscow was reconsidering the sale of arms to the Syrians following the joint attack on Syria by the US, Britain, and France Friday night.

Netanyahu and Putin – Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

The S-300 system could be a very significant upgrade to Syria’s air defense, which is now based mainly on purchases from the former Soviet Union, since no country has ever agreed to sell an advanced system of that kind to the Assad regime before.

It is not clear whether the Israeli message will effect the thinking of Russian Vladimir Putin and his administration. In 2016 Russia renewed the sale of the weapons system to Iran. The deal was signed in 2007 but was frozen following the international sanctions imposed on the Iranians.

The regime of Ayatollahs in Tehran has expressed interest in purchasing the S-400 missile defense system. This more advanced system has not yet been sold to any international actor and remains solely in the hands of the Russian military.


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Top Photo: Three deployed S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems ready to launch – Photo: EllsworthSK via Wikimedia