Putin tells Netanyahu he rejects Israeli version of Syria plane downing

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Russian officials said Syria's outdated S-200 systems weren't sophisticated enough to identify the Russian plane as a friendly one.

"The command posts of Syrian air defense forces and units will be equipped with automated control systems only supplied to the Russian armed forces".

"We are certain that the realisation of these measures will cool the "hot heads" and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen", Shoigu said. Israel said Syria was responsible.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that supplying advanced weapon systems to "irresponsible players" would increase dangers in the region, Netanyahu's office said.

"According to information of our military experts, the reason [behind the downing] were premeditated actions by Israeli pilots which certainly can not but harm our relations", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.


"We think introducing the S-300s to the Syrian government would be a significant escalation by the Russians and something that we hope, if these press reports are accurate, they would reconsider", Bolton said.

Putin informed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the missile delivery in a phone call on Monday, according to a statement issued by Syria's presidency.

In an indirect warning at Israel, President Vladimir Putin's military said it would also start to jam the radar and satellite signals of planes that attack Syrian territory from the Mediterranean.

Israel has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria, fearing this would hinder its aerial capability to strike buildups of Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria. "What's important to us is that the weapons defense systems that the Russians transfer to Syria are not used against us".

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that supplying S-300s to Syria is Russia's "right" and voiced confidence that this would not hurt Russian ties with Israel.


A Russian military Ilyushin IL-20 landing at Kubinka air base on June 3, 2011.

The Russian-made system, made up of radar arrays and missile launchers, offers long-range protection against both fighter jets and missiles.

The downing of the plane came just hours after Russia announced it had reached a deal with Turkey to avert a Russian-backed Syrian regime offensive against the northwestern province of Idlib, one of the last areas still in opposition hands. All 15 people aboard were killed. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said that the Russian deaths were "a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military".

Earlier, the Russian MoD presented a minute-by-minute timeline of the Il-20 downing. It accused the Israelis of using the Russian plane as a cover to avoid Syrian air defense systems.


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