The ministry believes that unsanctioned American strikes may result in the deaths of Russian officers. Russian military experts say that decisions to destroy unidentified airplanes will be made instantaneously.
According to an RBTH source in the Russian defense industry, if fighters appear in the area where the Syrian government army is active, Russian radars in Syria are not able to identify them.
“American planes fly with their transponders turned off [transponders help determine whose plane it is – RBTH] and also there is the agreement on the prevention of air incidents and the delimitation of zones with military activity,” said the source.
“Therefore, if in places where Russian officers are present there appears a fighter or a missile is launched at this zone, the decision to save our servicemen will be made instantaneously,”
According to editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Politics magazine Fyodor Lukyanov, the Defense Ministry’s statement has been made to avoid war.
“This is a precise and unambiguous warning, which is supposed to play a preventive role. The Russian military is making it clear that an attack on Russian servicemen or the Syrian forces will be perceived as an act of aggression against Russia,” said Lukyanov.