Russia delivers new missile defense system to Syria, despite US warnings

Russia delivers new missile defense system to Syria, despite US warnings
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Russia announced Tuesday that it completed a delivery of a new missile defense system to Syria, despite U.S. warnings against the arrangement.

"The work was finished a day ago," Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin in a meeting broadcasted by Rossiya 24 TV, according to Reuters.

National security adviser John Bolton warned last week that the U.S. would view the delivery as "a significant escalation" in Syria's ongoing civil war and expressed America's hope that "they would reconsider" the decision.

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"We would regard introducing the S-300 a major mistake," he added.

Russia had announced earlier that it would send a Russian S-300 surface to air missile system to President Bashar al-Assad after Syria accidentally downed a Russian plane the week prior.

Russia said the friendly fire was a result of "misleading information" from the Israeli air force, a claim Israel has vehemently denied.

Tensions have been high among the countries involved in Syria, as Assad and his allies face down the last major rebel stronghold in the Idlib province.

The U.S. and Assad's coalition have clashed over the possibility that Syria would use chemical weapons on the remaining rebels.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the U.S. would "hold accountable those that are responsible" for the use of chemical weapons. He added that America is not ruling out "a single thing" when asked if it would use military force in response.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, indicated earlier this month that the military has presented President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE with options for the situation. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump privately threatened to retaliate with a massive assault if Assad employs chemical weapons in Idlib.

In his statements last week, Bolton said the U.S. would not leave Syria until Iran was no longer active there and a Washington Post report said Trump had approved leaving 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria indefinitely.

Russia and Turkey said earlier this month that they would move to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib, urging rebels to leave by Oct. 10 along with the "heavy armaments, rocket launchers, tanks and mortars of all opposition forces."