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Russia is threatening to supply long-range air defence systems to Syria

Russia stated the possibility of long-range air defence systems supplied to the Syrian Arab Armed Forces in the wake of recent US-led airstrikes.

Moscow may consider supplying S-300 surface to-air missile systems to Syria and “other countries”, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi told a televised briefing on Saturday.

Russia had “refused” supplying those missiles to Syria a few years ago, he added, “taking into account the pressing request of some of our Western partners”.

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According to source in Russia’s Defence Ministry, Russia would deliver S-300PM1/2 and S-300PS air defence systems to Syria free of charge. To date, Syrian Arab Armed Forces have ageing S-125, S-200, Kvadrat and upgraded Buk., Pechora and new Pantsir air defence systems.

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The most up-to-date system that Moscow has supplied to the Syrian regime is the short range Pantsir S-1, which has shot down drones and missiles that have flown over Syria. But only the advanced S-300 would be a major upgrade to Syrian air defenses and pose a threat to the USA and Israeli fighter jets and cruise missiles as the long-range missile defense system can track objects like aircraft and ballistic missiles over a range of 300 kilometers.

The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles. The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defence of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.

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