Russia completes delivery of the S-300 system to Syria. 49 pieces of hardware delivered. Russia has delivered an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria, it said on Tuesday, in defiance of Israeli and U.S. concerns that the arms sale would embolden Iran and escalate the Syrian war.
“We have completed the delivery of the S-300 system,” Shoigu said Tuesday. The hardware supplied to Syria consisted of 49 pieces of military equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers, he added.
The delivery is meant to protect Russian troops in Syria, coming in wake of the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane in mid-September.
A unified air defense control system in Syria will be completed by October 20, Shoigu told the Security Council. Russia will “prepare and train” the Syrian crews to operate the S-300 within three months.
The reinforced Syrian defenses will be able to suppress satellite navigation, radars and communications systems of combat planes over the Mediterranean Sea. This, Shoigu said, might “cool some hotheads down and avert them from ill-judged acts that endanger our troops.”
The delivery is a response to the downing of the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane in Syria on September 17. The aircraft, with 15 servicemen on board, was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air-defense units during an Israeli raid.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert could not confirm reports that the S-300 had been delivered.
“I cannot confirm that that is accurate. I hope that they did not,” she told a press briefing. “That would be, I think, sort of a serious escalation in concerns and issues going on in Syria, but I just can’t confirm it.”