DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:25 P.M.) – An Israeli officer said on Wednesday that Israeli Air Force can definitely defeat the S-300 missiles recently supplied to Syria.
“The operational abilities of the air force are such that those (S-300) batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act”, Tzachi Hanegbi, the country’s regional cooperation minister and a non-voting member of its security cabinet, said.
“You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These S-300 batteries are not even able to detect them”, Hanegbi added, referring to F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Israel has been conducting air raids against positions it says they belong either to Iranian forces of Hezbollah group.
“We have clarified to the Syrians more than once that we will not step back from our commitment to prevent Iran’s entrenchment in Syria” he added.
“We were already forced, a few months ago, to destroy Syrian missile batteries, and I hope they won’t challenge us in the future”, Hanegbi commented in what can be seen as a padded threat to take action against the newly-supplied S-300 missile system.
Russia decided to provide Syria with the advanced S-300 air defense system after Israeli jets were held responsible for downing the IL-20 plane on September 18.
The Israeli Defense Forces denied the Russian claims, saying that the IAF did not hide behind any aircraft and that the Israeli aircraft were in Israeli airspace at the time of the downing of the Russian plane.
The IDF Spokesperson said that this incident showed the problems with giving advanced weapons to “irresponsible entities.”
Earlier, Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that Israeli warplanes will carry on its strikes against positions in Syria despite of the fact that the Syrian Army is now in possession of S-300 air defense system.
yesterday, the first batch of S-300 missiles system was unloaded from Russian planes in the coastal airbase of Hmeimim.