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Russia Threatens to Shoot Down U.S. Aircraft in Syria

Defense Ministry

As reports that the Obama administration are, once again, considering launching airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday issued a clear warning that it will shoot down American aircraft if such a campaign was launched.

The statement comes just days after reports that Moscow had deployed additional S-300 surface-to-air missile batteries to its air base in the Assad-controlled Syrian region of Latakia. Russia is in Syria providing air support to Assad's forces, as they battle to retake positions to the east.

“Let me remind the [so-called] American 'strategists': the Russian military bases in [Latakia] and Tartus are covered by S-400 and S-300 air defense systems, the range of which may come as a surprise to unidentified flying objects.”

The advertised range of the S-400 and S-300 systems are 300 kilometers and 200 kilometers, respectively.

Dialogue between the United States and Russia in Syria has in the past week completely broken down, with hopes for a renewed cease-fire falling to the wayside. Russia, meanwhile, is supporting a renewed Assad-led assault on the opposition holdout of Aleppo.

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