Russia Refuses to Back Off Syria Missile Sale

Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin / AP

Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin / AP


Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to back out of a contract to supply surface-air S-300 missiles, part of a sophisticated air defense system, to the Syrian Army in a Tuesday meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Tower reports:

During the meeting with Putin, Netanyahu also clarified Israel’s position versus Syria. He explained that Israel would continue to obstruct by all means available  — including continued air attacks — Syria’s efforts to ship long-range missiles to Hezbollah.

The Russian president, on the other hand, made clear that his country objects to any foreign intervention in Syria and advised Israel to restrain itself, arguing that further attacks may escalate the situation. […]

The S-300 is considered to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and accurate air defense systems.  It has the capability to identify, target and fire missiles at multiple airplanes simultaneously at a range of over 125 miles.  For Israel that would mean any plane taking off from Israel’s northern air base in Ramat David, a situation that Israeli military officials would consider intolerable.

Israeli sources told the Tower the meeting between Putin and Netanyahu was like “a dialogue between two deaf people.”