Russia Edges Closer to Clash with Israel: Defiant Netanyahu says Bombings to Continue Despite S-300s

Mideast watchers are guessing just how far Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu will go in his game of “chicken” with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Russian leader declared his intention to deploy S-300 anti-missile batteries around Damascus and Netanyahu said Israel will nevertheless continue its policy of attacking deliveries and stored weapons and ammunition before it can reach Israel’s enemies. Last week, a Russian reconnaissance aircraft with 15 on board was shot down off the Syrian coast by the Syrian military as it tried to hit Israeli attack aircraft. Initial recriminations by Russian officials were angry diatribes blaming Israel, but Putin surprised many by calling the loss of the plane a “tragic series of events.” Then, after a Russian investigation called Israel’s actions “criminal” Putin apparently decided to clip the Israeli wings by allowing S-300s to be deployed, a decision that severely complicates Israel’s ability to maneuver in the Syrian skies and continue its policy of relentless attacks against incoming weapons before they can reach Iranian proxy Hizbullah in Lebanon.

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