The Henry Jackson Society today responded to the announcement by Russia’s Defence Ministry that Moscow plans to deliver new air defence systems to Syria in the near future.
The announcement comes a day after Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel may strike the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defence systems should they be supplied to Damascus.
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, said:
“Britain and her allies must act swiftly in the face of a move by Russia which risks inflaming tensions still further in Syria and beyond.
“The supply of an advanced air defence system to Damascus would allow Assad’s brutal regime to act with impunity as it fires mortars, missiles and worse at its own people. Worse still, given the unrelenting war and instability the country has seen, there can be no guarantees that such high grade military equipment will not fall into the hands of even more extreme groups.
“The overdue steps taken to degrade the Assad regime’s chemical weapons capabilities will all be for nothing if the West turns a blind eye to this further arming of Syria, which threatens Britain’s allies in the region and our capability to respond to future outrages.
“At the NATO meeting this week, foreign ministers must urgently discuss next steps in response to Russia’s actions in Syria and reiterate the alliance’s determination that the regime should be held to account.”