Syria says new air defences will make Israel think twice

Syria says new air defences will make Israel think twice

Damascus: A top Syrian official has said a new air defence system from ally Russia will force Israel to "think carefully" before carrying out any more air strikes in the country.

Moscow announced on Monday it would deliver the advanced S-300 air defence system, a week after the Syrian military downed a Russian plane by mistake following an Israeli air strike.

Russia has blamed the friendly fire on Israeli pilots using the larger Russian plane as "cover".

Late Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Meqdad said Damascus welcomed the delivery of the advanced S-300 system promised to arrive within two weeks.

It replaces Syria's existing Russian-built S-200 system, which dates back to the Soviet era, in a move that had been due to take place in 2013 but was held up by Russia at Israel's request.

"I think that Israel, which is accustomed to carrying out many attacks under different pretexts, will have to think carefully about attacking Syria again," Meqdad said.

In recent years, Israel has carried out repeated air strikes in war-torn Syria against Iranian targets.