Summary: Israel has said it will act if Russia delivers promised anti-aircraft missiles to its ally Syria, in an apparent allusion to another air raid on the neighbouring country.
Moshe Yaalon, Israeli defence minister, issued his warning on Tuesday shortly after a senior official in Moscow said the Russian government reserved the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missiles
“As far as we are concerned, that is a threat,” Yaalon said.
“At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent. “But if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do.”
His comments were made before Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, ordered his cabinet to stay silent on the issue of the Russian missile deliveries, according to public radio.
Earlier this month, Israel launched air raids inside Syria targeting what sources said were arms destined for the Lebanese Shia armed group Hezbollah, whose fighters have entered the conflict alongside the Syrian army.
Tensions were further stirred after the EU decided in a meeting in Brussels on Monday to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to Syria’s rebels.