Photo: EPA
Photo: EPA

Report: Russia to supply Syria with S-300 missiles

Year after Russia-US relations hit low after Putin moves to transfer high-end S-300 missiles to Syria, pro-Assad reports says 'senior Russian officials stressed their absolute commitment to continue support for Syria in fight against terror.'

State-affiliated media in Syria have reported that the during a recent visit to Moscow by representatives of the embattled regime, Damascus received promises of widespread Russian support, including in the field of military.



According to a report in al-Watan, which cited unnamed Western diplomats, "senior Russian officials stressed their absolute commitment to continue their support the Syrian in its military attempt to fight terror."


S-300 in Russia (Photo: EPA)
S-300 in Russia (Photo: EPA)


The report also claimed that among others, Russia will give Syria the S-300 missile defense system. In the past reports of such a transfer strained Western-Russia relations, and led to an all time low in Russia's relations with the US.


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The issue made headlines in September 2013, when news of possible arms transfer from Russia to Syria came as the US was mulling military intervention and Syria.


At the time, Russian President Putin confirmed for the AP that Moscow supplied Syria with components for the high-end S-300 air defense system, but that the shipment was not completed: "We have suspended it for now," he said but added that "if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world."


Against the background of the crystallization of the US outline for a possible strike in Syria, Putin warned the West of acting without the UN Security Council's backing. However, in the interview Putin said he doesn't "exclude" Russian support for a military action, should proof of Assad's use of chemical weapons be shown to the UN.


Two weeks later, a Russian report said Russia will offer Iran a new supply of S-300 missiles and assistance in the construction of an additional nuclear reactor in Bushehr, Russian paper Kommersant reported.


The proposal came three years after a previous agreement under which Russia was expected to transfer five S-300 batteries to Iran was canceled.


According to a source within the Kremlin, Putin decided to grant an Iranian request to supply the Islamic Republic with the high-end S-300 air defense system with a deal estimated at $800 million which will also include coordinating the construction of an additional nuclear reactor in Bushehr.


Polina Garaev, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 11.30.14, 09:31
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