Russians Hawk Jets to Syria Regime
Even as US senators propose tougher sanctions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2012 12:41 PM CST
In this file photo taken on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, a Russian Yak-130 training jet is seen at MAKS-2009 (the International Aviation and Space Show) in Zhukovsky, Russia.   (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, file)

(Newser) – Russia is so unconcerned with the international outcry against Syria that it has reached a deal to sell Bashar al-Assad's regime three dozen Yak-130 fighter jets, a Syrian business newspaper reported today. The twin-engined jet is capable of attacking ground targets, the AP reports. Experts say the contract, which is reportedly worth $550 million, is a sign of Russia's confidence that Assad will remain in power.

The sale comes despite an EU weapons embargo against Syria, which Russia has said it won't cooperate with. The US, meanwhile, may soon crackdown on Assad even further. New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced legislation that would bar anyone in Assad's regime who is suspected of human rights abuses from doing business with the US, as well as prevent US companies from selling weapons or technology to Syria, the New York Daily News reports.