“The tragedy occurred on September 17 following erroneous, unprofessional, and cowardly actions” by the Israeli military, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Italy’s Panorama magazine. Meanwhile, Vladimir Yevseyev, a Russian military expert, was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying that the state-of-the-art S-300 system would effectively make it impossible for the Israeli air force to operate over Syria
Russia, for example, wants to rebuild Syria’s train network. “Russia built it in the first place, and wants to rebuild this and strategic economic ties,” said independent Russian analyst Vyacheslav Matuzov. “Russia wants … a new Mideast security order,” said Emile Hokayem, Middle East security expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Whatever happens to the rebels in Idlib province, Russia is determined to keep Syria solidly anchored in its sphere of influence over the long term — both as a foothold in the Middle East and as a warning to the U.S. and its allies against future interference.
“Russia wants … a new Mideast security order,” said Emile Hokayem, Middle East security expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The Russian military will also supply better control systems to Syrian Air Defense Troops, “which are only supplied to the Russian Armed Forces,” defense chief Sergey Shoigu elaborated. Arguably, the most concerning thing for Israel will be the delivery to Syria of an S-300 anti-aircraft system, which will boost Syria’s capabilities to deny Israel access to its airspace.
Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov: “It would be good for them to remember there is such a concept as global stability which they are thoughtlessly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russian-American ties. We recommend that Washington’s operators of the sanctions machine at least superficially acquaint themselves with our history to stop going round in circles.”
US Air Force plans to return to Cold War firepower levels by adding more bombers, fighters, tankers and other frontline units — part of President Donald Trump’s vision of a stronger military to confront Russia and China. “The Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said during a speech at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Maryland.
Ecuador in 2017 gave Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a diplomatic post in Russia but rescinded it after Britain refused to give him diplomatic immunity, according to an Ecuadorean government document. “Special designation” refers to the Ecuadorean president’s right to name political allies to a fixed number of diplomatic posts even if they are not career diplomats.
Israel’s coordination with Russia on its attacks in Syria remains unchanged despite the deadly downing of a Russian plane and the Jewish state retains its right to decide on military actions, an Israeli official said Friday.
“There have been no changes to the deconfliction mechanism as a result of this unfortunate event,” the military official said on condition of anonymity, referring to Monday’s downing following Israeli air strikes.
The US Department of State said the sanctions were invoked under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 “for engaging in significant transactions with persons on the [List of Specified Persons]”. The transactions involved the purchase of Russian Su-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment.
Russian diplomatic mission pinned the blame for the recent accidental downing of the surveillance plane in Syria’s Latakia Province on Israel’s Air Force, which was conducting aerial assaults against Syrian army positions when the incident happened.
“Moscow views as irresponsible and unfriendly actions of Israeli Air Force, which exposed Russian Il-20 aircraft to danger and lead to death of 15 servicemen. Russia would take all necessary measures to eliminate threat to life and security of our military fighting against terrorism.”
A regional election in Russia’s Far East will be re-run, the local election commission said on Thursday, dealing a rare blow to the Kremlin after allegations the vote had been rigged in its candidate’s favour. “We believe that in the circumstances it is not possible to reliably understand the result of the will of the people, which means we can’t declare either of the candidates elected,” Tatyana Gladkikh, the chairwoman of the local election commission, said on Thursday.
The new election must be held within three months of the annulled Sept. 16 vote.
According to the ministry, the Israeli F-16 jets carrying out the air strikes used the Russian plane as cover to allow them to approach their targets on the ground without being hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire. “We view the actions of the Israeli military as hostile,” Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state television. “As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Monday to try to come to an agreement over the Syrian rebel stronghold of Idlib. Vladimir Putin said: “We have a lot of issues to discuss, including difficult ones,” Putin said at the start of the talks at his residence in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his concern over terrorist activities in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the RIA news agency cites the Kremlin as saying. President Vladimir Putin discussed the latest developments in Syria’s last stronghold of militants with members of Russia’s Security Council on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday promised to strengthen the army and supply it with new generation weapons, as he travelled to watch Russia’s biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union. “This is the first time our army and fleet have undergone such a difficult and large-scale test,” Putin said in comments published on the Kremlin website.
NATO said that Vostok-2018 “demonstrates Russia’s focus on exercising large-scale conflict”.
“It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time — a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence,” the alliance’s spokesman Dylan White said late August.
U.S. President Donald Trump must recognize that getting his way across the subcontinent could bring down a fragile edifice, one that has been propped up by delicate presidential balancing acts since the days of the Truman administration. The problem, of course, is that Trump’s clear tilt toward India will hardly halt Pakistan’s continued drift toward neighboring China and Russia.