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Russia stops sale of new weapons to Syria

  |   July 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM
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MOSCOW, July 9 (UPI) -- A senior Russian defense official said Monday the country will not sign new weapons contracts with Syria until the situation in that country stabilizes.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, also said Russia won't deliver any new types of weapons to Syria until the situation stabilizes, RIA Novosti reported.

"Russia, as well as other countries, is concerned by the situation in Syria," he said. "We are not talking about new arms supplies to that country. Until the situation stabilizes we will not deliver any new weapons [to Syria]."

Dzirkaln said Russia, one of Syria's main arms suppliers, won't supply Yak-130 fighter planes. Russia has signed a $550 million contract with Syria for delivery of 36 of the planes.

The United Nations estimated in May about 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against President Bashar Assad in March 2011. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday put the death toll at 16,500, including 5,000 government troops and military defectors.

The group said June was the bloodiest month so far in the conflict, with about 100 deaths every day.

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