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Showing posts with label Benjamin Netanyahu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Benjamin Netanyahu. Show all posts

[Video] Russia starts delivering S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria despite Israel’s objection

Russia starts delivering S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria despite Israel’s objection




A Russian soldier stands beside a Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system in Kubinka, Russia, August 21, 2018. (Photo by Bloomberg)
A Russian soldier stands beside a Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system in Kubinka, Russia, August 21, 2018. (Photo by Bloomberg)

A senior Israeli official has admitted that Russia's delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense systems to Damascus will pose a serious "challenge" to the regime.

Tensions have been rising between Moscow and Tel Aviv following the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria this month.

Related: [Video] 'Lavrov's patience tested one time too many': Russian FM blasts Western policy in UN speech

The official, whose name was not released in the Sunday report by the Times of Israel, said Tel Aviv was working on "different ways" to deal with Russia's recent move.

“The S-300 is a complex challenge for ... Israel. We are dealing with the [decision] in different ways, not necessarily by preventing shipment [of the anti-aircraft systems],” he said.

The official said Israel enjoyed the US support and reserved the right to protect itself, without elaboration.



"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin made a move, but it's a big playing field and he understands that," the official said.

Moscow vowed to bolster Syria’s air defense capabilities by sending modern S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to the Arab country within two weeks after the recent accidental downing of a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft.

The aircraft was shot down by Syrian air defenses while they were responding to a wave of Israeli airstrikes.

Russia's decision to provide Syria with the S-300 system infuriated Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing it as “irresponsible.”

Related: Israeli Media in Total PANIC over Russian transfer of S-300 to Syria

Netanyahu told Putin in a phone conversation that Israel "will continue to do what it has to do to defend itself."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday Russia has already started delivering the S-300 system to Syria as part of efforts to ensure the safety of Russian forces in the Arab country.

The Russian plane with 15 servicemen on board disappeared from radars on September 17 as four Israeli F-16 warplanes were attacking state institutions in Syria’s Latakia Province, which is home to Russia-run Hmeimim airbase.

Related: Russia Warns West Against New Strikes in Syria Under Far-Fetched Pretexts

Russia’s Defense Ministry held Israel responsible for the incident, saying the regime’s warplanes “created a dangerous situation” that led to the downing of the Russian aircraft by Syria’s S-200 missile defense system.

Israel frequently attacks military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up militant groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.

Source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/09/30/575638/Israel-Russia-Syria-missile
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In tacit threat, Israel releases satellite photos of Syrian presidential palace

To mark 30 years since its first orbital launch, Defense Ministry publishes images from its newest spy satellite, showing Syrian tanks, an airfield… and Bashar Assad’s home

A photograph of Syria's Presidential Palace in Damascus taken by Israel's Ofek 11 spy satellite, which was released by the Defense Ministry on September 17, 2018. (Defense Ministry)

Israel on Monday released photographs taken by its newest spy satellite of sites located deep inside Syria, including Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s palace, in an apparent threat to the regime.
The images, taken by the Ofek 11 spy satellite, were released by the Defense Ministry to mark 30 years since Israel’s first orbital launch on September 19, 1988.

The three photographs released by the ministry showed the Syrian Presidential Palace, also known as the Palace of the People; tanks on a Syrian military base; and the Damascus international airport, which was reportedly targeted by an Israeli missile strike on Saturday night. 

The publication of the images could be seen as both a show of strength and a tacit threat to Syria, where Israel has routinely conducted air raids against Iranian targets — over 200 of them since 2017, according to the Israel Defense Forces.





The Saturday night strike reportedly targeted an Iranian plane at the Damascus international airport that was delivering weapons to pro-regime forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps units fighting in Syria’s civil war, as well as several weapons storage facilities at the airport itself.


Syrian President Bashar Assad in an AP interview at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, September 2016. (Syrian Presidency via AP)

There was no official Israel comment on the reported attack. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday seemed to acknowledge that the Israeli military was responsible for it

“Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. “Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”



A photograph of Syria’s international airport in Damascus taken by Israel’s Ofek 11 spy satellite, which was released by the Defense Ministry on September 17, 2018. (Defense Ministry)

The Syrian state news agency, SANA, claimed that Israel had targeted the airport with missiles, activating the country’s air defenses, which shot down a number of the projectiles. The Syrian military has often been accused of exaggerating its successes in intercepting incoming missiles.

On Sunday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that the alleged Israeli strike caused “substantial” damage at the airport, but had no immediate information on casualties.


 For years, Israel has been concerned that Iran was using opportunities presented by the Syrian civil war to entrench itself militarily in the country in order to further threaten the Jewish state — alongside the threat already posed by terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Ofek 11

The Ofek 11 spy satellite was launched on September 13, 2016, using a Shavit rocket, the same basic model that Israel used to launch the first Ofek satellite 30 years before.

Shortly after takeoff, the team operating the satellite discovered it was not functioning properly. Teams of engineers on the ground worked to stabilize the Ofek 11 and get its systems running.


Israel’s Ofek-11 spy satellite takes off from Palmachim air base in central Israel on September 13, 2016. (Ministry of Defense Space Administration)

Nine days later, the satellite beamed back its first images, dispelling fears that it was a total operational loss.

“The Ofek 11 satellite will provide operational outputs,” the Defense Ministry said at the time.

The Ofek 11 was an upgrade from the Ofek 10 satellite launched by Israel in April 2014.

The Ofek 11 joined approximately 10 other satellites, including the Ofek 10, Ofek 9, Ofek 7 and Ofek 5, that feed intelligence to Israel’s security forces.

“Israel’s independent capabilities in the field of satellites represents a significant advantage in its efforts to stand up to various security threats. The quality of the images and photographs that are produced by our different satellites is incredible and provide us with valuable intelligence, and prove that the sky is not the limit,” Amnon Harari, the head of the Defense Ministry’s space program, said on Monday.

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-tacit-threat-israel-releases-satellite-photos-of-syrian-presidential-palace/

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Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Moscow and Tel Aviv had long enjoyed fairly good ties despite the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, but they are now at risk as Russia blames Israel for the downing its warplane off Syrian coast and the crew's death.

Although the plane was technically shot down by a Syrian missile, Russia made it clear who it blames in the tragedy, saying that Israeli pilots used the Russian Il-20 as a cover.
 
Related: ‘You are to blame for downing of Il-20 and death of its crew,’ Russia tells Israel

The Middle East historically remained a place of bitter rivalries. Tension grew increasingly high after the Arab Spring brought more havoc to an already complex region, riddled with colliding interests and clashing ambitious of various actors, large and small. Nevertheless, Russia and Israel had always managed to keep good relations.

This year alone President Vladimir Putin met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times, and every time the media didn’t get much details from closed-door discussions. Through delicate behind-the-scenes diplomacy Moscow maintained a close, working relations with Israel. The fact that it’s one of US closest allies was never an issue for Moscow. Russia itself kept developing ties with Turkey and Iran, Israel’s arch-nemesis, while managing to address Israel’s concerns too.

For Russia, Israel is not only an important, geopolitical partner with alleged nuclear capabilities, situated in the heart of the world’s most turbulent region. It’s also home of about 1.3 million expats from post-Soviet countries. This large diaspora plays a significant role for Russia when it tailors its approach to Tel Aviv.

Related: The Russian-“Israeli” “Crisis”: Climb-Down In Progress?

Even the war in Syria, where Israel - in hopes of curbing Iranian influence - supported and armed controversial anti-government militants, didn’t result in a serious crisis in relations with Russia.

Over the course of the conflict, the IDF had conducted numerous airstrikes against targets in Syria and even launched missiles at Syrian jets. Each attack was strongly condemned by both Syria and Russia who had been pointing out that any military incursion into the country without the government’s and UN’s approval is illegal.

Related: https://www.rt.com/news/438686-syria-russia-s200-il20/

But the raid on Latakia and the collateral damage in a form of a downed Russian military plane can inflict grave damage on the relations between the states. Israel stands firmly against the strengthening of the Turkish or Iranian grip in the region, so its recent actions may be an attempt to remind everyone that the Syrian crisis has other stakeholders involved. Especially, since just the day before the tragic incident with the Russia plane Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan reached a settlement on the situation around Idlib, the last militant stronghold beyond the control of the Syrian government.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438704-russia-israel-conflict-plane/
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