The Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tzachi Hanegbi said on the army radio that Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, which Moscow supplied to Damascus, will not be able to detect F-35 fighters, reports Haaretz.
“You know, we have stealth-fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries (S-300) are not even able to detect them,“ he said. As the newspaper notes, the first F-35 arrived in Israel in 2017.
Russia decided to transfer the S-300 to Syria, after the Syrian military, while attempting to repel an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters, shot down the Russian Il-20 in the same area, killing 15 military personnel.
The Russian Defense Ministry believes that the Israeli pilots are responsible for creating a dangerous situation since they “hid” behind the Russian plane. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu explained the need to transfer the S-300 to Damascus by saying that such a step would help “cool hot heads and keep them from rash actions.”
Israel believes that the responsibility for the incident lies with the Syrian military, who opened "indiscriminate fire." In turn, the U.S. State Department said that the delivery of Syria’s S-300 would contribute to the escalation of the situation in the region.