Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his cabinet to stay silent on the issue of Russian S-300 missile deliveries to Syria, Israel public radio reported on Wednesday.
The order came after several ministers criticized Moscow’s intention to go through with the transfer of the anti-aircraft missiles to Damascus.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday warned that Israel would respond if Russia delivered on its promise.
“The deliveries have not taken place, and I hope they do not. But if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” Yaalon told reporters.
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz also confirmed Israel would “react to any threat.”
“I hope Damascus understands that. We will react forcefully,” he told reporters on Tuesday, describing Russia’s planned delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles as “morally wrong.”
On Sunday a rumor circulated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Netanyahu had reached a deal whereby the missiles wouldn’t be delivered, but the rumor was denied by Israeli officials.