Moscow delivers S-300 missile system to Syria for defense of Russian naval base
A battery of Russian S-300 air defense missile launchers has been transported to Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. Its sole purpose is to defend a Russian naval base and warships, the ministry added.
The information about the S-300’s deployment was confirmed by ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“Indeed, the Syrian Arab Republic received an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. This system is designed to ensure the safety of the naval base in [Syrian city of] Tartus and ships located in the coastal area [in Syria]…” he told the media.
Konashenkov said it is unclear why the deployment of the missile system has created such a fuss in the West.
“The S-300 is a purely defensive system and poses no threat,” he said.
He recalled that before the deployment of S-300, Russia had delivered Fort air defense missile systems to Syria.
The statement comes after a report by Fox news that a Russian S-300 was deployed to Syria. The media cited three US officials who claimed that Moscow “continues to ramp up its military operations in Syria.”
BREAKING: US suspends bilateral contact with Russia over Syria https://t.co/OpHCLJSMCEpic.twitter.com/7VNWOBdZXD— RT America (@RT_America) October 3, 2016
In November 2015, Moscow deployed its newest S-400 air defense missile system to Khmeimim in Syria as part of a security boost following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey near the border with that country. At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the S-400 systems are not targeting Russia's partners, “with whom we fight terrorists in Syria together.”
The S-400 is the most advanced anti-aircraft defense system in Russia.