Russia acknowledged that Syrian surface-to-air missiles shot down a Russian spy plane this month. However, it is still sending new and better air defense missiles to arm its Syrian ally. Delivery of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles was made to cause hindrance in the Israeli air raids against its civil-war-wracked neighbor. An attack by four Israeli Air Force F-16 fighters on Hezbollah facilities in Syria triggered a series of events which resulted in Syrian Air defenses shooting down a Russian II-20M Coot-A intelligence gathering aircraft. According to news, the Syrian forces mistook the lumbering converted airliner for a fighter jet and killed all the 15 Russian military personnel onboard.
Even though it acknowledges that Syrians shot down its airplane, Moscow is doubling down its support for the Middle Eastern ally. The Russian government says that although the Syrians shot down the plane, the Israeli government failed to warn Syria of the attack and used the Russian II-20M as a cover which resulted in the shootdown. The Israelis have disputed the claim saying that their fighters were already back in the Israeli airspace by the time Syria attacked and shot down the Russian plane.
The S-300 missile system, which is known to NATO as the SA-10 Grumble is a long-range surface to air missile system, roughly similar to early versions of the American Patriot missile. The S-300 is a mobile, ground-based radar-guided missile with a maximum range of 93 miles that is capable of engaging enemy aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. The S-300 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1978. This system will make Israeli intrusions into Syrian airspace much more difficult. Since 2017, Israel has launched 200 airstrikes against targets in Syria and the airstrikes were against the Hezbollah. The basic S-300 is very old, however, it is still a better system than the S-200 system which shot down the Russian spy aircraft.