Russia has delivered missile defense systems to Syria in order to prevent the possibility of Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft from being stolen, as well as to return fire, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Viktor Bondarev said Thursday.
“We have taken into account all possible threats. We have sent not only fighters, attack aircraft, bombers, and helicopters, but also missile defense systems because any sort of force majeure situation may occur. For example, the stealing of a warplane in a neighboring country with Syria or having to return fire. We need to be prepared for that,” Bondarev told Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily in an interview.Russia has been conducting precision airstrikes at Islamic State militant group positions in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad since September 30.
Since the beginning of the air campaign, Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed over 2,000 terrorist positions. Several hundred militants have been killed, and dozens of command centers and depots have been destroyed in over 1,600 sorties, according to the Russian General Staff.