Πέμπτη, 26 Απριλίου 2018

Boosting Syrian Air Defenses Will Scale Down US, Israeli Ambitions

Boosting Syrian Air Defenses
Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister vowed to retaliate if Syria uses the Russian-made S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems against Tel Aviv.

Speaking with Sputnik, Syrian lawmaker Ahmad Merhi said that Russia’s measures to improve Syria’s military capabilities will significantly reduce the potential of further Israeli airstrikes, as well as challenge the US’ hegemony in the Middle East.

“I think it is essential today not to let the United States think that they can act aggressively against Syria, and Russia is already working on that. […] The latest developments have pushed Russia to furthering Syria’s capabilities. Mass media may or may not announce when it [the S-300 supplies] happens, but I think, it’s getting there,” Merhi said.

According to the lawmaker, developing Syria’s capabilities, air defenses in particular has always been a matter of concern for Israel; Merhi suggested that Tel Aviv would attempt to destroy the S-300 systems if Russia delivers them to Syria.

“I think the Russian military has taken into consideration all of Israel’s calculations and fears, when making the decision. At the same time, Russia realizes that its presence in the Syrian arena – is a door to regional and international scenes, and this is an opposition to the US’ hegemony in the region,” Merhi added.

He went on to explain that several states are opposed to Russia’s and Iran’s “entrenchment” in Syria, saying that the United States sought to undermine Moscow’s strengthening in the region, therefore, he believes, “the entire territory of Syria needs reinforced air defenses.”

Israel Promises to Retaliate

Merhi’s comments came two days after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to strike back if Syria used Russian S-300 systems against Tel Aviv.

“What’s important to us is that the defensive weapons the Russians are giving Syria won’t be used against us. If they’re used against us, we’ll act against them. If anyone attacks us, we will retaliate, regardless of S-300, S-700 [sic] or anything else’s presence there,” Lieberman told the Ynet media outlet on Tuesday...
  [sputniknews.com]
 26/4/18
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