Russian President Medvedev. Arming Syria
Photo: AP

Russia to sell Syria warplanes, air defense systems

Head of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation says Moscow to supply Damascus with MiG-29 fighters, truck-mounted Pantsir short-range surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery systems

Russia has signed deals with Syria under which it will sell it warplanes, antitank weapons and air defense systems, Itar-Tass news agency quoted a senior Russian arms trader as saying on Friday.


Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said Russia would supply Syria with MiG-29 fighters and truck-mounted Pantsir short-range surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery systems.


He did not specify the kind of anti-tank weapons.


The arms deal is likely to be watched with unease by Syria' regional foe Israel and its ally the United States which imposed sanctions on Damascus for its support of militant groups and corruption.


Earlier this week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Syria – the first visit to Damascus by a Moscow ruler since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution – and oversaw talks on Russia's possible assistance in building a nuclear power plant in Syria.


While in Syria, Medvedev unnerved Israel by paying a visit to Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.


Israel's Foreign Ministry said it was "deeply disappointed" that Medvedev met the leader of Hamas, which it said was "a terror organization in every way".


פרסום ראשון: 05.14.10, 17:01
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