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INTERNATIONAL > Israel asks Russia not to sell Syria advanced S-300 air shield: Officials

JERUSALEM - Reuters

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	A picture taken from the Israeli annexed Golan Heights shows smoke rising following explosions in a Syrian village near the Israeli border on May 7, 2013. AFP Photo

A picture taken from the Israeli annexed Golan Heights shows smoke rising following explosions in a Syrian village near the Israeli border on May 7, 2013. AFP Photo

Israel has asked Russia not to sell Syria an advanced air defence system which would help President Bashar al-Assad fend off foreign military intervention as he battles a more than two-year-old rebellion, Israeli officials said on Thursday.
 
Citing U.S. officials, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Israel had told Washington that Syria had already began payments for a $900 million purchase of the S-300 and an initial delivery was due within three months.
 
The S-300 is designed to shoot down planes and missiles at 125-mile (200-km) ranges. It would enhance Syria's current Russian-supplied defences, which did not deter Israel from launching devastating air strikes around Damascus last weekend.
 
"We have raised objections to this (sale) with the Russians, and the Americans have too," an Israeli official told Reuters.
 
There was no immediate comment from Moscow or Damascus.
 
In 2010, Russia backed out of a tentative S-300 sale to Iran that had been in the works for years. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited U.N. sanctions imposed that year over Iran's defiance of international demands to curb its nuclear programme.
 
Israel and the United States, which threaten military attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities if diplomatic alternatives fail, had lobbied Moscow to drop the deal with Tehran.
 
Israel attacks
 
Israel bombed sites near the Syrian capital on Friday and Sunday which intelligence sources said held Iranian-supplied missiles destined for Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon. The heavy presence of Israeli warplanes in Lebanese airspace suggested they may have eluded Syrian defences by launching long-range missiles across the border at the targets.
 
Assad accused his Israeli foe of attacking Syria in order to support the insurgency there - an allegation denied by Israel, though, like Western powers, it has urged his ouster.
 
Russia, however, has balked at such calls. It voiced "particular alarm" at Israel's air strikes, seeing a possible precursor for Western military intervention against Assad.
 
Robert Hewson, an IHS Jane's air power analyst, said that were Syria to receive the S-300 it would probably take several months to deploy and operate the system. But he suggested it would not pose a big challenge for Israel's hi-tech air force.
 
"It's a fairly well-established, fairly well-understood system, so there is a corpus of knowledge, particularly among Israel's friends, about how to deal with this system," he said.
 
Once activated, the S-300 could easily be spotted thanks to its distinctive radar signal, Hewson said, "and from there it's a fairly short step to taking it out. It's not a wonder-weapon."
 
Cyprus bought the S-300 and eventually positioned it on the Greek island of Crete. Israel, which has close ties with Nicosia and Athens, may have tested its jets against that S-300's capabilities during Mediterranean overflights, Hewson said.

May/09/2013

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Rorschach ~

5/11/2013 3:09:21 AM

You folks really need to decide which side you are on..... It's now a proven fact that Turks have absolutely the shortest memory in the world. Think back...... Who was it that shot down the Turkish jet a while ago?? Now, who do you think built and sold those weapons to the Syrian government?? And the missiles and artillery used to attack all the refugees streaming across your border. Do you see it now? Is the light dawning?? Sheesh!

ilker avni

5/10/2013 11:23:34 PM

@Stefanos Cyprus wanted to deploy the s300,but changed they mind after Turkey said it would be a waste of money because Turkey would just blow them up.So you can say Turkey saved the GC a lot of money.

Stefanos Kalogirou

5/10/2013 9:40:11 PM

@turkic voice, then turkey wants to fight others with their hands tied. (don't you remember the Turkish shouting when Greece and Cyprus wanted to deploy S300?) S300 is a defense system!

ebby m

5/10/2013 5:52:19 PM

I think that Turkey should care about S300 more than Israel. Israel will manage to avoid the radar ....Turkey is still debating how their F-4 was shut down without advanced missiles.

turkic voice

5/10/2013 12:18:39 AM

isreal likes to fight others with there hands tied only. :)

Erdogan Erdogan

5/9/2013 9:35:20 PM

@MiddleAmericaMS na - Think again how took down the Turkeish jet?? I am shoure ISRAEL will finde the way but Turkey...

american american

5/9/2013 9:25:19 PM

they're doing it for you, turkey

Eyal Eyal

5/9/2013 8:40:34 PM

Just to remind Anton & MiddleAmerica the Free Syrian Army is asking for no fly zone from the US & NATO so when you support the selling of the S300 missiles to Assad don't forget that it can be used to attack US & NATO planes as well .

ilker avni

5/9/2013 8:06:57 PM

Israeli power is all todo with its advantage in the sky,without air power Israel loses its main advantage over its neighbours.Israel has two allies in America and Russia, Russia canceled Irans purchase of s300 when asked by Israel to cancel the deal,it was canceled.

Blue Beyond

5/9/2013 6:45:18 PM

Israel is doing the dirty work for Sunni regimes in the area, including Turkey, and for Europe. Iran/Syria/Hezbollah are threats to regional stability.
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