Israel will definitely respond if S-300 systems are directed against it, says Liberman

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has warned that Israel will react forcefully to any Syrian attack using the Russian-made S-300 air defense systems.
Liberman Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman addressed on Thursday the recent tensions with Syria and warned that Israel would retaliate if Russian-made S-300 advanced missile-defense systems are used against it.

“If the systems target our planes, we will certainly respond,” the minister said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

“In my opinion, Assad is a war criminal who is responsible for the deaths of over half a million of his country’s citizens,” Liberman added. The top Israeli official also explained that Israel will thwart every Iranian attempt to entrench itself in Syria.

When talking about Israel’s relations with Russia, Liberman stressed: “We have normal relations with Russia and we are taking into account its interests. We hope that Russia will consider our interests here, in the Middle East.”

Liberman’s statements came in response to a Kommersant report from earlier this week that claimed that Russia is once again considering delivering S-300 systems to its Syrian ally as part of a 2010 deal signed between the two countries. For the past several years, Israeli pressure has delayed the delivery. 

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