Israel has asked Russia not to sell Syria an advanced air defence system which would help President Bashar Assad fend off foreign military intervention as he battles a more than two-year-old rebellion, Israeli officials said on Thursday.
Citing US officials, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Israel had told Washington that Syria had already began payments for a $900 million purchase of the S-300 and an initial delivery was due within three months.
The S-300 is designed to shoot down planes and missiles at 125-mile (200-km) ranges. It would enhance Syria's current Russian-supplied defenses, which did not deter Israel from launching devastating air strikes around Damascus last weekend.
"We have raised objections to this (sale) with the Russians, and the Americans have too," an Israeli official told Reuters.