Russia to deploy S-400 missile defense systems to Syria

Russia will be deploying S-400 missile defense systems to Syria, the Russian defense minister says.

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“The S-400 anti-aircraft missile system will be deployed to the Hmeimim airbase,” Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday, referring to the Russian airbase outside the port city of Latakia in western Syria.

The system is the most advanced one owned by Russia in the field of air defense. The missile system, an upgrade of the S-300 family, is capable of intercepting and destroying airborne targets such as aircraft and ballistic and cruise missiles at distances of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles).

The official’s remarks came a day after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer, which they had accused of having violated Turkish airspace. Russia denies the allegation.

Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov also said Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed with the proposal made by the Defense Ministry to transfer the missile systems to Hmeimim.

Also on Tuesday, Russian media reported that Russian missile cruiser Moskva equipped with the Fort air defense system, similar to S-300, will be stationed off the coast of Syria’s Latakia province.

Since September 30, Russia has been conducting aerial operations against Daesh, al-Nusra Front, and the other terrorist groups that have been sowing fear and destruction among the Syrian country’s civilian population.

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Damascus has hailed the Russian military engagement, which came upon the Syrian government’s request saying that since the beginning of the campaign, terrorists had begun to retreat and flee in thousands.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria has thus far claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations.

A US-led coalition has also been pounding purported Daesh positions inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations mandate since last September. The mission has fallen severely short of dislodging the terrorists.

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