Russia to sell missiles to Syria

Sept. 17, 2010 at 12:24 PM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Moscow intends to move ahead with plans to sell Syria a cruise missile system, the Russian defense minister said.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said he discussed the sale of the P-800 anti-ship cruise missile to Syria during talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The P-800 can cruise at low altitudes and carry a 400-pound warhead. It has a range of more than 175 miles.

"Undoubtedly, it would be fulfilled by the Russian side," the Russian defense minister was quoted as saying of the contract. The contract stems from a 2007 deal with Damascus, the minister added.

The Russian report added that Israel in late August was moving to block Syrian efforts to obtain updated missile systems.

The Israeli government, meanwhile, announced that it approved a deal to purchase five new U.S.-made F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, the report added.

The government said the F-35 would counteract threats from the Russian-made S-300 air defense system because of the stealth capabilities of the fighter.

A deal between Russia and Iran for the S-300 defense system has lingered in various stages of negotiations for years.

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