Iran likely to supply air defence missiles to Syria – Iranian state TV

Damascus (Reuters) – Iran is likely to sell surface-to-air missiles to Syria, Iranian state television said on Friday, to help reinforce the air defences of Tehran’s close ally in the face of frequent Israeli air strikes.

“Syria needs to rebuild its air defence network and requires precision bombs for its fighter planes,” the state broadcaster said.

“It is very likely that we will witness the supply by Iran of radars and defence missiles, such as the 15 Khordad system, to reinforce Syria’s air defences,” the TV said, adding that only parts of a recent defence agreement with Syria were being publicised.

Although Israeli officials rarely acknowledge responsibility for specific operations, Israel has been carrying out air strikes against suspected Iranian-sponsored weapons transfers and personnel deployments in Syria for almost a decade.

Israel has also in recent months intensified strikes on Syrian airports and air bases to disrupt Iran’s increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

The strikes are part of an escalation of what has been a low-intensity conflict whose goal was to slow down Iran’s growing entrenchment in Syria, Israeli military experts say.