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