Syria Apparently Lying About Russia's Missiles
Russian sources say they won't be there for at least a year
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 31, 2013 6:53 AM CDT
A Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is seen on display in an undisclosed location in Russia.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Bashar al-Assad must have been either mistaken or bluffing when he said Syria had already received its first shipment of S-300 air defense missiles from Russia, if reports appearing in Russian media today are true. Syria won't actually get the missiles until spring of next year, per a contract signed in 2010, and it will take another six months to train Syrian forces to use them, Russian defense sources tell newspapers there, according to the Guardian. (Reuters picks up an Interfax report in which a Russian arms industry source backs up the "not yet" claim, though with a slightly more accelerated timeline: "Regarding the deliveries of the S-300, they can begin no earlier than the autumn.")

Not that Russia is squeamish about selling arms to the regime; it's currently finalizing a new deal to sell it MiG warplanes. Analysts say the jets and the missiles aren't for use against the rebels—that war "is waged using infantry, Kalashnikov automatic rifles, tanks, and armored vehicles" says one—but to deter intervention from foreign powers like the US. The analyst added that he believes the reports that Syria doesn't have the missiles yet, as such a delivery could have been spotted via satellite. "You can't hide S-300s in your pocket."

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
backpath2
Jun 1, 2013 6:42 AM CDT
The New Russia: One hand in the capitalist cookie jar, the other hand wrapped around its Soviet past.
Vincebus
May 31, 2013 4:36 PM CDT
what... now these idiots are tryin' to BS the US too
kawahchan
May 31, 2013 10:58 AM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: The American Republican CIA say if Russia's Putin really wants to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria's Assad government; the opponent rebels led by American Republican CIA's Special Armed Forces will instigate a hijack S-300 to ship to Pentagon. The rebels will prepare the toy planes to test how the S-300 defense work and locate where the Assad's army hide the S-300 as well.