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Showing posts from May 31, 2013

Syria's Assad Vague on Delivery of Russian Missile System

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Russia has begun fulfilling some of its weapons contracts, but he did not say whether those deliveries include components of a controversial air defense system.

Assad spoke Thursday in an interview televised on Al-Manar - a station controlled by the Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah - a close Assad ally.

Moscow had promised to go ahead with the long-delayed sale of the S-300 air defense system, despite warnings this week from Israel that it would view such a move as a security threat.

Assad said "it is not our policy to talk publicly about military issues," saying the various defense contracts with its longtime ally "have nothing to do" with Syria's ongoing civil war.

On Thursday, as media reports of S-300 deliveries circulated, Israeli newspapers quoted a top Israeli official as saying the Jewish state would respond at a point the S-300 missile system is operational. The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted National Security…