© GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The U.S. has expressed hope that Israel will defy a newly installed Russian missile defense system to continue bombing targets linked to Iran in Syria.
James Jeffrey, Washington's envoy to Syria, told reporters Wednesday that the U.S. was betting on Russia and Israel's strategic relationship to continue despite an international incident in September that resulted in the downing of a Russian military aircraft. The Il-20 surveillance plane was accidentally struck by allied Syrian anti-aircraft fire responding to an Israeli air raid against suspected weapons depot linked to Iran in western Syria, compelling Moscow to deliver modern S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to its Syrian partner in a rare public rift between the two.
"We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?" Jeffrey said, according to the Associated Press, echoing the concerns of other U.S. military and political officials.
"In the past, Russia has been permissive in consultations with the Israelis about Israeli strikes against Iranian targets inside Syria," he added. "We certainly hope that that permissive approach will continue."
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