JERUSALEM, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Russia could follow through with plans to place air defense systems in Syria as a response to Israel's hosting of an advanced U.S. radar station, sources say.
Russia pledged to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this month that it wouldn't site its S-300 air defense missile systems in "volatile regions" unless it was to restore strategic balances. But Russian officials now say a new American FBX-T anti-missile radar system in Israel is a balance-breaker, the Israeli Web site DEBKAfile.com reported, citing unnamed sources.
Syria could also host Iskander-E missiles to be deployed initially around its Mediterranean ports where Moscow is building naval bases, the Web site said.
DEBKAfile's sources said the Kremlin regards the new U.S. radar system, installed recently in Israel's Negev desert, to be an important part of the U.S. missile shield being deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic despite Russia's strenuous objections.
Russia, however, could decide against handing control of the systems to the Syrians, instead preferring to maintain control of them itself, sources said.