Moscow has warned the West against striking any missile or aviation blows on the territories controlled by the Syrian government. Russia will see such actions as a threat to Russian military men in Syria, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Thursday, RIA Novosti reports.
He paid attention to the fact that a number of Western sources admitted the possibility of missile and air strikes on the positions of Syrian troops. Konashenkov noted that the Syrian military had efficient air defense systems to defend themselves.
"I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to meticulously calculate possible consequences of such plans. Today, the Syrian army has highly efficient anti-aircraft complexes, such as S-200, Buk and other air defense systems," Konashenkov said.
In addition, he noted that after the attacks on the positions of Syrian troops on September 17, Russia took all necessary measures to exclude similar mistakes against Russian troops and military facilities on the territory of the Syrian Republic.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova commented on the possibility of direct military clashes between Russia and the United States in Syria. According to her, despite the "difficult situation", the agreement on the prevention of conflicts in Syria between Russia and the United States was still valid.
A Russian journalist asked Zakharova about a possibility of clashes between Russian and American forces in Syria, for example, if the United States bombed the Syrian army and Russia closed the sky with its S-300 systems.
"There are many aspects to this question, but this is a point-blank one. We have an adequate agreement concluded with the US - the agreement on the prevention of conflicts," the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
On Monday, the US State Department announced that the United States was suspending negotiations with Russia on Syria, because Russia supposedly failed to keep its promises, including obligations under international humanitarian law. In addition, Washington pointed out Moscow's alleged unwillingness or inability to force the Syrian regime to cooperate.
According to US media, Washington considers an opportunity to attack government forces in Syria to ignore Russia's position on the matter. At the same time, the US administration doubts the feasibility of such a move, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. According to him, the United States does not think that military actions against Syrian President Assad were likely to reduce violence in Syria. It is much more likely, that such actions would lead to numerous unintended consequences that would not correspond to national interests of the USA, he added.
In response, Russian Defense Ministry representative, Major-General Igor Konashenkov said that S-300 and S-400 defense systems could give a few unpleasant surprises to strategists from the United States.
"Let me remind the American "strategists" that Russian military bases in Tartous and Hmeymim are protected with S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, the range of which may come as a surprise to any unidentified flying object," said Konashenkov. He also added that Russian air defense systems "will hardly have time to calculate the flight trajectory of missiles and establish the affiliation of their carriers."
Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Dutch TV 2 channel that he was convinced that Russia was doing everything possible to avoid the confrontation with the USA. He also said that the "hawks" in the US administration were doing their best to make the confrontation with Russia happen.
Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion on the subject from President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov.
"If the Syrian leadership asked Russia to support the government forces, then Russia is obliged to protect them, or Russia would not be in Syria otherwise. Russia is supposed to strike the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and protect its allies.
"In 1999, when we were making a decision to send a commando battalion to Pristina, we were told that this could start another world war. We told NATO that we would operate strictly within the norms of the international law. Today, Russia has the agreement with the legitimate government of Syria, and Russia will act to defend the Syrian sovereignty.
"As for possible consequences of a conflict between Russia and the USA in Syria, one does not have to be too smart to say that such consequences will be extremely negative. Russia must dot all i's at this point and say that Russia's response to aggression would follow immediately, within the framework of the international law," Leonid Ivashov said, Politonline reports.
Noteworthy, Syria, in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, has the right to individual and collective defense.
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru