The decision by Russian defense officials to order emergency deployments of its advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems into Syria, days after Moscow claimed Israeli forces prompted the downing of a Russian surveillance aircraft and its 15-person crew, is a clear "obstruction to peace" in Syria and the region, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Monday.
The transfer of the S-300 to Syria is a "long-running saga", according to Aron Lund, a fellow with The Century Foundation think-tank.
As the Il-20 was landing near Latakia, one of the F-16 planes "began maneuvers" at 1859 GMT "getting closer to the Il-20", which was interpreted as a repeat attack by the Syrian air defense and resulted in it being shot down, he said.
"Moscow's decision to provide Syrian forces with S-300 air defense system and Russian personnel to operate them is aimed at making Israel more careful in the vicinity of Russian assets, while also controlling Syrian allies", Dmitri Trenin, director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, wrote in Twitter. Moreover, the Israelis misinformed the Russians about the location of their targets.
This development, comes after a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down on September, 17, off Lattakia, killing 15Russian servicemen on board.
The Israeli military has prepared for such an eventuality for years, Israeli analysts said, and could likely work around it, destroying the systems if necessary.
However, the radar data shows the Israeli jet fighters had continued to patrol the area off the Syrian coast following the incident, Konashenkov said.
"The relationship between Israel and Russian Federation is much stronger than what people think when it comes to Syria", said Samer Abboud, Associate Professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University.
Russian Federation launched its campaign in support of President Bashar Assad in 2015, eventually turning the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces. 23, 2018, has renewed its accusations against Israel for causing the downing of a Russian military plane over Syria.
"One sees it [Iran] as a threat, and is somehow pleased that Israel did the work for Russian Federation in dealing with Iran in Syria".
The supply of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft batteries to the Syrian air defense system.
"Since the tragic events in the Syrian skies, I have spoken twice with President Putin, expressing deep sorrow about the loss of lives of the Russian Federation crew on the plane, that was irresponsibly shot down by Syrian fire", Netanyahu said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against delivering an advanced air-defense system to Syria, saying it will further destabilize the war-torn region.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Tuesday that the arrival of Russia's S-300 to Syria will push Israel to reconsider before striking Syria again.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's office said: "President Putin held Israel responsible for bringing down the plane and informed President Assad that Russian Federation will develop Syria's air defence systems".
Israel says it has carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.
"In addition, three years after entering Syria, Russia wants to finish things and leave".