Russia to supply missiles to Syria, despite Israel protest

The Jerusalem Post (Link) (September 17, 2010)

Russia still intends to go through with an arms deal with Syria including the sale of advance anti-ship rockets, despite recent attempts by Israeli and US officials to thwart the planned deal, Russian Defense Minster Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday according to state news agency RIA Novosti.

The deal includes the sale of advanced P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to the Syrian military.

Israel considers this weaponry capable of posing a significant threat to its navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Russian defense minister indicated that Russia would go ahead with the contract that was formulated in 2007, saying that �the matter of missile sales to Syria was raised during the talks with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and undoubtedly, the Russian side of the contract would be fulfilled.�

Sergei Prikhodko, a senior adviser to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, told RIA Novosti that Moscow would fulfill all agreements it had made with foreign countries and would not halt the deal.

Israel has expressed concern over the deal to supply Syria with advanced supersonic P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles, which would pose a major threat to Israel Navy ships if transferred to Hizbullah. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah hit the Israel Navy missile corvette �Hanit� with an Iranian-supplied surface-to-sea missile, killing four sailors.