Russia Will Provide S-300 Air Defense to Syria

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed on Tuesday that "we will do whatever is necessary to protect Israel's security", following the downing of a Russian aircraft in Latakia, Syria, last week, The Times of Israel reported.

He added that Russia will go ahead with the shipment of the advanced missile systems because "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault", noting the supply of S-300 will "calm down some hotheads" who threaten Russian military in the Middle East.

A flurry of shuttle diplomacy by Israeli officials to Russia appeared to be paying off in May, when Russian officials said just days after a visit by Netanyahu that they were not planning on selling the system to Syria.

In October 2006, the nuclear programme of Israel's arch enemy Iran dominates the first visit to Moscow of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.

The Syrian deputy foreign minister also said that the government prefers peaceful measures to liberate Idlib, saying termination of terrorism in Syria would come with the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions and restoration of Syria's sovereignty over its territories.

The delivery of the missile system had been suspended in 2013 following an Israeli request, according to a statement by the Russian ministry of defence. This cooperation had already manifested itself in 2009 in the sale to Russian Federation of Israeli drones.

Israel says it is determined to stop Iran, a longtime foe that has sent forces to back Assad, from becoming entrenched near Israel's northern border and prevent the transfer of advanced missile systems to Iranian proxies, including Hezbollah.

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In September 2015 Netanyahu meets Putin in Moscow.

Despite differing views of what happened, Netanyahu's office said the Russian and Israeli leaders "agreed to continue dialogue between professional teams and intermilitary coordination via military channels". Iranian forces are in Syria to support the government in the war.

Erdogan said both Turkey and Russian Federation would carry out coordinated military patrols on the borders of the buffer zone in a bid to detect and prevent "provocation by third parties and violations of the agreement".

Russia blames Israel for Syria, its own ally, firing a Russian-made air defense missile that missed Israeli jets attacking Syria and instead killed 15 Russian servicemen on an Il-20 spy plane.

Under the Idlib deal struck between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russian and Turkish troops would patrol the buffer zone and the rebels would surrender their heavy weapons. The Israeli military, however, said that Syria's indiscriminate air defense fire was the cause of the accident.

On Sunday, Russia's military blames "misleading" information from the Israeli air force for the incident.

Army Radio said that Cohen was headed to Washington to meet with senior United States officials about Russia's decision to send S-300 advanced surface-to-air missiles within two weeks to Syria, which both Jerusalem and Washington have warned would further destabilize the region and increase already high tensions.

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