Russia has announced its intentions to deliver the S300 missile defense system to its ally Syria within 2 weeks. This comes days after a friendly fire incident that saw a Russian Ilyushin reconnaissance aircraft shot down by Syrian forces. The Syrians, using outdated S200 systems, were responding to an Israeli air raid. 15 Russian servicemen lost their lives in the incident. Russia placed the blame squarely on Israel, accusing the Jewish state of using the Il-20 as a shield against Syrian missiles. Israel denies these allegations.
The system, which Syria has already paid for, was supposed to be delivered in 2013 but the Russians halted the delivery after being asked by Israel. The Jewish state at the time claimed the system, which has a range of 250 kilometers, would present a threat to it. Russia will also supply Syria with advanced guidance systems that will make it easier to differentiate friendly planes from hostile ones. The Russian defense system has been a runaway success, with many countries showing a high interest in it. The more advanced S400 missile system has been ordered even by traditionally pro-American countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Russia has already been using it to protect its interests in Syria, while the Syrians use old but still-capable Soviet systems.The even more advanced s500 missile system is expected to be delivered to Russian forces by the year 2020.
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