Russian arms sales to Syria angers Israel

JERUSALEM, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Israel is expressing its displeasure to Russia about its contract with Syria to supply it with advanced P800 sea-to-surface cruise missiles.

In return, despite Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak having signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia Sept. 6 in Moscow, the Israeli government is considering not supplying the Russian military with advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, The Jerusalem Post reported Friday.


Under the terms of the military cooperation agreement, the first between the two countries, Israel would to sell Russia 36 UAVs, including Israel Aerospace Industries' Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs for $100 million, while talks were also to be held about establishing a joint venture to manufacture Israeli drones in Russia in a deal that could be worth $300 million.

Russia is particularly interested in using the UAVs to patrol its restive Caucasian provinces, where it has battling Muslim insurgents for nearly two decades. Up to now Russia has been unable to establish an indigenous UAV assembly line.

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