On Monday, the Russian daily Kommersant reported that Moscow was getting closer to delivering its S-300 missile defense system to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, despite Israel’s efforts to prevent it. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman responded by saying that if the powerful S-300 was used against Israeli jets, the system would be destroyed.
According to Kommersant’s report, Russia will not be selling Assad the S-300 system, but rather providing it at no cost as part of a military aid package in order to hasten the delivery.
Officials said to fear the planes are transporting weapons which could be used to attack Israel
Although there have been shipments from Iran to Syria in the past, these recent flights were said to have been noted as they arrived in the wake of the April 13 US-led strikes on Syrian military targets in response to an alleged chemical gas attack on the town of Douma that killed dozens.
Reported Iranian attempts to bring advanced weaponry into Syria come at a time of unprecedented tension between Jerusalem and Tehran, including mutual threats of attack. Most recently, Iran has vowed revenge over an airstrike on the T-4 airbase in Syria in April that was said to have killed several Iranian military figures and has widely been blamed on Israel, which has not confirmed it was behind it