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Published On: Tue, May 28th, 2013

Russia sending air defense system to Syria to assist Assad regime

Russia will not cancel plans to deliver an air-defense system to Syria despite Western opposition in order to help deter foreign intervention in the two-year-old conflict, according to the country’s deputy foreign minister.

Speaking in Moscow on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also accused the EU of “throwing fuel on the fire” by letting its own arms embargo on Syria expire.

S-300 missile launcher on "parade" in Russia photo Archlinux via wikimedia commons

S-300 missile launcher on “parade” in Russia photo Archlinux via wikimedia commons

“We think this delivery is a stabilizing factor and that such steps in many ways restrain some hotheads from exploring scenarios in which this conflict could be given an international character with participation of outside forces,” Ryabkov said.

Israel and France had urged Moscow to refrain from sending high-precision S-300 missile systems to President Bashar al-Assad’s government in its campaign against opposition fighters.

“I can’t confirm or deny that these deliveries have taken place. I can only say that we will not disavow them,” Ryabkov said.

“We see that this issue worries many of our partners but we have no basis to review our position in this sphere.”

Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defence minister, said on Tuesday that S-300s had not left Russia yet, seeming to contradict Israel’s air force chief, who said last week the shipment of the missiles was on its way to Syria.

Russia has been Assad’s most powerful ally during the 26-month-old conflict, opposing sanctions and blocking, with China, three Western-backed UN Security Council resolutions meant to pressure the Syrian government to stop fighting.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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