Netanyahu Calls Putin, Blames Syria, Iran

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Russia laid the blame on Israel, accusing Israeli pilots of using the Russian plane as cover, an account denied by the Israeli military.

Russian Federation is to supply Syria with an advanced air defence system in response to the shooting down of one of Moscow's planes that killed 15 servicemen and was initially blamed on Israel.

In addition to the provision of S-300s, the Russian defence ministry warned that its forces will target the electronic systems of any military aircraft that launches strikes on Syrian targets, a risky move likely to escalate regional tensions. Syrian air-defense command units will be connected directly to Russian command posts with automated systems that at present are deployed only in Russian units, he said. Now, days later, that "tragic chain of events" was determined by Putin's minions to have been caused by Israeli "lack of professionalism or criminal negligence", according to a Russian defense ministry spokesman.

"We are convinced that these measures will calm down some hotheads and keep them from careless actions which pose a threat to our troops", Mr Shoigu said.

The attack by the IAF in Latakia and the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian anti-aircraft personnel, which they have trained and are supervising, presents them to the Russian public and the Kremlin as total nationalists who do not understand what is going on around them. There may be similar incidents in the future owing to the practical difficulty of separating what belongs to Syria (which Israel, having grown comfortable with the Assad regime as "the devil we know", is not now seeking to fight a war against) from what belongs to its Iranian and Hezbollah allies.

Shoigu said S-300 missiles will strongly strengthen combat capabilities of the Syrian air defense due to their jamming invulnerability and firing speed.

It has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 system to Syria.

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For its part, Israel is wary of Iran's growing influence in Syria, which is bringing its archenemy closer to its borders.

Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Monday night and agreed to continue their security coordination in Syria.

"Unfortunately, the Russians have stated their intention to introduce very sophisticated anti-aircraft systems into Syria, give it to the Syrian army". However, the Kremlin also said Russia's decision was not targeted against anyone and only serves to protect Russian troops in Syria.

Erdogan said both Turkey and Russian Federation would carry out coordinated military patrols on the borders of the buffer zone in a bid to detect and prevent "provocation by third parties and violations of the agreement".

In recent months, the government recaptured many areas that were controlled by the opposition. Assad expressed his condolences for the deaths of the Russian airmen, saying they were "carrying out noble mission, fighting terrorism in Syria". Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to discuss the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during this week's U.N. General Assembly in NY.

Turkish military vehicles have entered Idlib after militants snubbed an agreement between Turkey and Russian Federation for the creation of a buffer zone in the northwestern Syrian province, the last major militant stronghold in the Arab country.

The supply of the S-300 batteries allows the Russians to show Assad that they are indispensable to his survival.

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