02:08 GMT26 February 2020
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    Earlier, Izvestia, citing sources in the military-industrial complex, reported on the testing of Russia's S-500 Prometey air defence systems in Syria.

    There is no need for testing and using S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems in Syria, Izvestia, a Russian newspaper, cited the Ministry of Defence as saying.

    "The S-500 is designed to deal with ballistic and aerodynamic targets at long ranges. There was no need for the testing and especially the use of the S-500 anti-aircraft missile system in the Syrian Arab Republic," the Ministry of Defence clarified.

    The S-500’s technical specifications remain shrouded in secrecy, although reports speculate that the system will be capable of destroying targets from distances of up to 600 km away, and tracking and striking up to 10 ballistic targets moving at hyper-sonic speeds up to 7 km per second (the equivalent of about Mach 20).

    On 2 October 2018, Moscow delivered S-300s to Damascus in a bid to boost the security of Russian troops deployed in the restive Middle Eastern country. The move came in response to an incident in which Syrian air defences accidentally shot down a Russian Il-20 military aircraft with 15 service members on board in Latakia while attempting to repel an Israeli airstrike.

    In the aftermath of the incident, Moscow accused the Israeli Defence Forces of deliberately using the Russian aircraft as a shield during their attack on targets in Syria. Tel Aviv brushed off the accusations, claiming it had warned Moscow about the upcoming air raid in the area in a timely fashion.


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