New arms deal between Syria, Russia threatens Israel August 22, 2008Posted by infidelkafirwatch in Uncategorized.
Tags: Arms deal, Russia, Syria, Threatens Israel
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LONDON — Syria is expected to conclude a massive arms deal with Russia later this month that strategic analysts assert will significantly erode, though not actually destroy, Israel’s qualitative military edge.
The deal, estimated to be worth $2 billion to $3 billion, has been in the works for two years and is expected to be sealed when Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas leads a high-level Syrian delegation to Moscow for 10 days of intensive talks in late February.
Among the Russian weapons systems Syria is reportedly seeking are Sukhoi-27 fighter aircraft, T-80 tanks, S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile Sam systems. The Sams are said to be equivalent to U.S. Patriot missiles.
According to one strategic analyst, the negotiations hit two snags before agreement was reached: The first was Syria’s residual debt — estimated at some $12 billion — to the former Soviet Union; the second was its inability to finance fresh arms purchases.
Moscow signaled its willingness to find a solution to the debt problem when it approved the sale of 1,000 anti-tank missiles to Syria last year, a $200 million contract that has been described as “an appetizer” compared to the upcoming deal.
This latest agreement will be significant for Syria on several counts, according to leading Arab strategic analyst Kassem Mohammad Jaafar.
On one level, he told the London-based daily newsletter Mideast Mirror, it would constitute the first major military deal Syria has concluded with Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union, marking the resumption of strategic cooperation between Damascus and Moscow.
On another level, the acquisition of state-of-the-art weapons by the Syrian armed forces would greatly enhance Syria’s military capability, Jaafar said. He added that the Sukhoi-27 aircraft is regarded as equivalent, if not superior, to the U.S.-made F-15 fighter jets that Israel currently has in its arsenal.
Moreover, the T-80 is one of the newest generation of tanks, while the S-300 system would enable Syria to defend itself against both missile and air strikes.
Equally important are other aspects of the deal, which involve the supply of spare parts, the upgrading of weapons systems and the support and modernization of Syria’s armed forces.
Moreover, the deal will return Russia as a major player in the Middle East, an ambition that is believed to have been accelerated since the appointment in September of pro-Arab Yevgeny Primakov as Russian prime minister.
In a related development, British intelligence sources reported that sophisticated Russian technology is being transferred to Damascus to aid Syria’s chemical weapons project.
Quoting the intelligence sources, the London Times reported that unofficial secret links have been found between Russian technical experts and Syria aimed at helping Damascus produce advanced chemical weapons.
“It is now feared that sophisticated Russian technology has been passed to Syria by former members of Moscow’s chemical weapons project,” the article said.
Through unofficial exchanges with these experts, Syria is thought to have acquired the technology for dispersing chemical agents, including VX nerve gas, via bombs from aircraft and warheads on surface-to-surface missiles.
The Syrians have also reportedly shown interest in acquiring more lethal chemicals that were developed in Russia in the 1980s.
Until the mid-1990s, Syria focused on the production of sarin nerve gas, but Damascus is now developing VX independently and is believed to have test-fired missiles armed with this agent. One test was reported to have been conducted near Damascus in May.
Tags: Arms deal, Russia, Syria, World War III
The Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” is ready to head from Murmansk towards the Mediterranean and the Syrian port of Tartus. The mission comes after Syrian President Bashar Assad said he is open for a Russian base in the area. The “Admiral Kuznetsov”, part of the Northern Fleet and Russia’s only aircraft carrier, will head a Navy mission to the area. The mission will also include the missile cruiser “Moskva” and several submarines, Newsru.com reports.
President Assad in meetings in Moscow this week expressed support to Russia’s intervention in South Ossetia and Georgia. He also expressed interest in the establishment of Russian missile air defence facilities on his land.
The “Admiral Kuznetsov” also last year headed a navy mission to the Mediterranean. Then, on the way from the Kola Peninsula and south, it stopped in the North Sea where it conducted a navy training exercise in the immediate vicinity of Norwegian offshore installations. [read more]
If the Polish could accept the US missile deal and increase their presence in the area, then why can’t Russia do a deal with Syria or other Muslim nations.
All is fair in love and war…