Speaking during a press conference for Russian media on Monday, Ze’ev Elkin said Moscow’s supply of the S-300 systems to Damascus was “a big mistake” that “might lead to destabilization of the situation”, presstv.ir reported.
He further tried to question the Syrian army’s ability to use the defense systems properly.
“The Syrian military is not always capable of correctly using the hardware transferred to them. In case of improper operation, civilian aircraft may be harmed,” Elkin said.
He further warned that the Israeli regime would take “practical action” in response to alleged attacks from Syria and stressed that Russia “bears partial responsibility” for Syria’s use of the defense systems.
“Actions would undoubtedly take place, should [an attack] occur, against the launchers used to attack” the occupied territories or Israeli planes, he said, adding, “I hope greatly that there would be no Russian military specialists [at S-300 sites].”
The S-300 missile defense system – known as one of the most advanced in the world -- is capable of striking short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles as well as tactical and strategic aircraft.
Russia signed an agreement to sell the system to Syria back in 2010 but later scrapped the plan.
In September, however, Moscow vowed to bolster Syria’s air defense capabilities by deploying the modern S-300 systems to the country.
The announcement came in the wake of the accidental downing of an Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 servicemen on board by Syria’s S-200 air defense systems, which were at the time responding to a wave of Israeli strikes on state institutions in Latakia Province.
Moscow held Israel responsible for the incident, saying the regime’s pilots had intentionally used the Russian plane as cover to conduct air raids, effectively putting it in the crosshairs of the Syrian air defenses.
Israel frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up Takfiri terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
The Russian military, on the contrary, has been helping Damascus in the fight against those terrorists.