The Russian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday it had deployed an S-300 missile system to its Tartus naval base in Syria.
“The missile battery is intended to ensure the safety of the naval base … It is unclear why the deployment of the S-300 caused such alarm among our Western partners,” the ministry said in a statement.
U.S. media reported earlier this week that Russia had sent the S-300 system to Syria at the weekend in its first foreign deployment of the surface-to-air weapon in the civil war-ridden country.
US officials have warned that the weapon system could be used to counter American missile attacks inside Syria.
The S-300 has a range of around 150 miles and is used to protect against airborne threats as opposed to vehicle and human targets on the ground.
The S-300 was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979 and have since been compared to the US Patriot Air and Missile Defence System which is operating in eastern Europe.
The defence system works using several different vehicles, including a surveillance radar mounted onto the back of a truck and a command vehicle where armed forces personnel can control the system.
There is another radar vehicle and a launch vehicle where the missile is fired from.
Russia and the US have been supporting opposing sides in the five-0year-long civil war in Syria.
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