U.S. Central Command Chief: Russia’s Deployment of S-300 a ‘Needless Escalation’ in Syria

The US military's Central Command chief Army General Joseph Votel speaks to AFP at an undisclosed military base in Southwest Asia on October 27, 2016. Votel said between 800 and 900 Islamic State group fighters have been killed since the Iraqi-led operation to recapture Mosul from the jihadists began. / …
THOMAS WATKINS/AFP/Getty

The Times of Israel reports: The Russian deployment of advanced anti-aircraft missiles in Syria is a “needless escalation,” the general overseeing America’s military involvement in the Middle East said Thursday.

General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command, blasted Russia over its unnecessary deployment of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which Moscow installed after the accidental downing of a Russian military plane by Syrian forces.

The deployment of the missiles “appears to be an effort to cover for Iranian and Syrian regime nefarious activities in Syria. So, again, I think this is a needless, needless escalation,” he told Pentagon reporters.

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