BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – The Israeli Minister of Jerusalem, Ze’ev Elkin, theatened to destroy Syria’s S-300 air defense systems if an Israeli Air Force jet is destroyed during a mission.
“We consider the very fact of shipping S-300 to Syria a big mistake,” Elkin said during a press conference for Russian media Monday.
“The Syrian military are not always capable of correctly using the hardware transferred to them. In case of improper operation, civilian aircrafts may be harmed,” he said.
“The Syrians, if they ever want to, might use [these systems] to down an Israeli military or commercial plane over Israeli territory,” he said, “considering the mess that is going on in the Syrian Army. Shipping S-300s might lead to destabilization of the situation.”
He said that Israel will retaliate in the event of an air defense attack, and he partially put the responsibility for any such incident on Russia.
“By shipping these kinds of weapons to Syrians, Russia bears partial responsibility for their use,” Elkin said. “Usually, Israel reacts to attacks on its territory and its aircrafts not through international demarches, but with practical actions. Actions would undoubtedly take place, should [an attack] occur, against the launchers used to attack Israeli territory or Israeli planes.”
“I hope greatly that there would be no Russian military specialists [at S-300 sites],” he continued. “Israel has for all these years been doing everything it can to make sure Russian military personnel are not harmed. The Iranians have repeatedly used the Russian military as a living shield and conducted arms relocation operations under the cover of the Russian military presence.”
Elkin claimed that, according to Israeli intelligence, the Iranian military has attempted to use Russian military bases for arms shipment operations.
“We have good enough intelligence regarding Iranian actions, and we know how to warn our Russian colleagues about such attempts in time,” he would add.