BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – The Syrian military will begin using the Russian-made S-300 air defense system in March, the Russia-based Kommersant publication reported on Monday.
According to Kommersant, the Syrian military is completing their training exercises with the S-300 and are not ready to use them in combat.
A member of the Russian Federation Council’s defence and security committee, Franz Klintsevich, said the Syrian crews are currently undergoing training, adding that “the Israeli warplanes are now striking Syria because they are still outside the Syrian air defense range, but after the deployment of the S-300, no one will be able to escape them”.
Kommersant said that it would be possible for one air defense battalion in Damascus to use the S-300, which is important for the Syrian military because the Israeli Air Force often targets the capital and its surroundings.
In October 2017, the first S-300 system was delivered to Syria as part of an agreement with the Russian Federation.
The Russian military delivered the S-300 system in response to the downing of their IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft that was flying along the Syrian coast.
The Russian Ministry of Defense accused Israel of using the IL-20 for cover during their attack on the Latakia countryside in September.