Has Syria become Putin's political juggernaut?

A Sukhoi Su-22 Syrian army plane releases bombs over southern Damascus in the area of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp

A Sukhoi Su-22 Syrian army plane releases bombs over southern Damascus in the area of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it is hard to understand the reasons behind the Israeli actions, taking into account constructing cooperation between Russia and Israel in Syria.

Of the incident, Mr Bolton said on Monday: "We think introducing the S-300s to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians".

Russia, which fights in Syria to support the government against rebels and militants, has said Syrian anti-aircraft batteries shot the IL-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target.

"Today's data does not just suggest but prove that the blame for the tragic [downing] of the Russian Il-20 airplane lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force", the major general told journalists. Russian Federation will also jam the electronic communications of aircraft attacking targets in Syria, he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in NY as Washington expressed concern at Moscow's plans to supply the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria.

The Kremlin said Russia's decision was not targeted against anyone and only serves to protect Russian troops in Syria.

"In parts of the Mediterranean adjacent to Syria, there will be radio-electronic jamming of satellite navigation, onboard radars and communications systems used by military aircraft attacking targets in Syrian territory", he said.

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The S-300 would represent a major upgrade over the older Russian-made systems the Syrians now use, and would put US, coalition, and Israeli jets under much greater danger of being shot down if the system was used against them in missions over Syria.

But after the downing of the plane last week, "the situation has changed", Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in an address carried live on national television. But it blamed Israel for creating risky conditions that caused the crash.

The flare-up in tensions between Russia and Israel marks a turnabout after months of personal diplomacy between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the two leaders forged a close personal relationship.

The Russian government announced Monday that it would be sending Syria an S-300 surface-to-air missile system. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman described Israel's actions leading to the shoot-down last week as "ungrateful", given what he said were Russian accommodations to Israeli requests, including relocating Iranian troops from the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and providing Russian patrols in the area. Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300s, which Israel feared Syria could use against it.

But Shoigu said that the Israeli military warned Russian Federation about last week's strike just one minute before launching it and claimed it was being conducted in Syria's north.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the decision to supply the weapons was not directed at any third country.

Bolton said a political process was needed but said Russia's plans on the missile system made that hard.

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