BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Syria’s former ambassador to Russia, Imad Mustafa, told Sputnik Arabic that Syria intends to improve its air defense systems because of repeated airstrikes from Israel and its tactics to hide behind other aircraft.

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According to the Syrian diplomat, Syria will fully review its missile defense systems, taking into account Israel’s actions.

“Syria uses all air defense systems to protect the airspace from continued aggression by Israel. Repeated airstrikes have convinced Syria of the need for a more advanced anti-aircraft missile system, and Syria will search for reasonable options to strengthen the air defense system,” Mustafa said.

“Israel is taking advantage of the fact that Syria is actively fighting terrorist groups in Idlib ,” the Syrian ambassador continued. In addition, Mustafa condemned Israel for trying to “hide behind a passenger plane and completely neglecting the lives of civilians.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Friday that an Airbus-320 passenger plane carrying 172 passengers was almost subjected to fire by the Syrian air defense systems while they were responding to Israeli raids near Damascus, noting that the plane was redirected to the Russian Hmeimim Air Force Base.

The Russian Ministry of Defense added that Israel is using civilian aircraft as a shield during its military operations in Syria to hinder the operation of the Syrian air defense system.

 

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