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.
Syrian government forces have uncovered a considerable amount of Israeli-made medicine and medical supplies in a field hospital belonging to foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the country’s strategic southwestern province of Quneitra. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
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.
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 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.
Chased out of their own homelands and targeted in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, experienced foreign jihadists embraced Syria's war as their own starting around 2013, two years into the conflict.
Many joined the Islamic State group but others stuck by Al-Qaeda and its former Syrian affiliate -- which now leads the powerful Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) alliance dominating Idlib.
The former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, writes in his soon-to-be-published memoirs that when he was head of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2010 he met with Bashar al-Assad and received a “personal message” from him to US President, Barack Obama, that included his readiness to fully recognize Israel and to open embassies in Damascus and Tel Aviv.
Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded towns in Syria’s opposition-held Idlib province on Saturday, a day after a summit of the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia failed to agree on a ceasefire that would forestall a Russian-backed offensive. Witnesses and rescuers said at least a dozen air strikes hit a string of villages and towns in southern Idlib and the town of Latamneh in northern Hama, where rebels are still in control.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a ceasefire in the rebel-held region of Idlib in northwest Syria on Friday and said an anticipated government assault on insurgents there could result in a massacre. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Moscow opposed a truce, and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani said Syria must regain control over all its territory.
Early in the conflict, fighting splintered Syria into a complex patchwork of areas held by rival groups, but fighting in recent years has simplified the frontlines and the country is now split into only a few zones of control. At its weakest point in 2015, the President Bashar al-Assad’s government held less than a fifth of Syria. But since Russia entered the war on its side, it has reclaimed huge swathes of Syria.