Russia confirms Syria missile deal is on

Feb. 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Russia is still planning to sell cruise missiles to Syria despite Israeli objections, the Russian defense minister said Saturday.

"The contract is in progress," Anatoly Serdyukov told RIA Novosti while visiting Vladivostok.

Russia has said it will fulfill a 2007 contract to deliver several Bastion anti-ship systems armed with SS-N-26 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria.

The Yakhont has a range of almost 200 miles, can carry a 450-pound warhead and can cruise just feet above the water, making it a challenge to spot and intercept.

Israel has voiced strong concern to Russia over the strengthening of Syrian defenses and the danger of the missiles passing into the hands of Hezbollah or Hamas.

The United States also has said the deal could destabilize the region.

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