Top US general: Russia’s S-300 deployment in Syria a ‘needless escalation’

Top US general: Russia’s S-300 deployment in Syria a ‘needless escalation’

In this photo taken on September 12, 2018, Commander of United States Central Command Joseph Votel speaks during a meeting with the Gulf cooperation council’s armed forces chiefs of staff in Kuwait City. (AFP PHOTO / Yasser Al-Zayyat)

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.