On October 3, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel is not happy with the delivery of S-300 long-range air defense systems to Syria and vowed that Israeli Air Force (IAF) will continue its military operation in the war torn country.
“I cannot say that we are happy about the presence of S-300 [in Syria], but at the same time this is a situation where we have no way out, where we have no opportunity to make decisions … In any case, we are not looking for adventures. We merely protect our vital interests. Regrettably, we are in a situation where we cannot afford any compromises concerning our security interests,” the Russian news agency TASS quoted Lieberman as saying during an interview with the public broadcaster Kan.
Lieberman also blamed Syria once again for the downing of the Russian Il-20 intelligence plane on September 17. The Israeli defense minister went on to criticize Moscow for not believing Israel’s information on the incident. However, he stressed that Russia and Israel should restore normal ties.
“I think the most important thing for us today is…to return the working relationship to normal. It is today the most important task — to return to normal operation, coordination, to more actively use the ‘hot line’ to prevent conflict situations. We need to work,” Lieberman said.
A day earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed that S-300 air defense systems and dozens additional pieces of military equipment have been delivered to the Syrian military. Russia took the decision to supply Syria with these advance equipment in the aftermath of the Il-20 incident in order to insure the safety of Russian service members deployed in the country.