Russia deploys S-400 missile batteries in Syria

Air-defense missile system deployed following downing of Russian warplane over Turkey and to protect Russian aircraft

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Russia deployed its S-400 air-defense missile system in Syria Thursday. Russia confirmed the deployment, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov stating “In accordance with the decision of Russia’s supreme commander-in-chief, an air defense complex S-400 has been promptly delivered to the Russian air base in Hmeimim in Syria. It has been deployed and entered combat duty to provide air defense for the area.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated the “Air defense systems are in no way aimed against our partners, jointly with whom we are fighting terrorists in Syria” and that the move “does not in any way contradict what we do with the coalition led by the United States.” He additionally stressed that the S-400 systems were deployed to protect Russian aircraft in Syria.

The deployment is also reported as response to Turkey’s shooting down of a Russia Su-24M warplane that illegally entered its airspace.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also confirmed the system would be deployed to Latakia.