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May 31, 2013 7:23 am

Russia Denies Advanced Missiles Delivered to Syria, but Determined to Complete Transaction

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with his wife Asmaa in Moscow. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Russia has denied Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reported announcement that he has already received the first shipment of the vaunted S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, but the Kremlin stated on Friday that it could deliver the S-300 system to Syria “in accordance with contract no earlier than the autumn,” Israel Hayom reported, citing the Russian Interfax news agency.

Interfax said that 10 Russian MiG-29 combat airplanes would also be delivered to Syria “in accordance with contract.” According to Russian experts quoted by the Kommersant newspaper, after the weapons systems are shipped and tested, and their local operators are trained, Assad could have fully operable S-300 systems by the spring of 2014.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Thursday had published excerpts from an interview Assad gave to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station in which he claimed that Syria had already received the S-300 Russian anti-missile system. But two senior U.S. officials privy to sensitive intelligence matters confirmed the shipment had not yet been made, Fox News reported.

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