Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asked last week about possible sales of the S-300 to Assad, said cagily: “Russia is not planning to sell. Russia has been selling for a long time, has signed contracts and is completing deliveries of technology that consists of anti-aircraft systems.”[SIZE=2]Lavrov said the weapons were to help Syria defend itself against air attacks. Israel suspects that Russia plans to sell Damascus six S-300 missile batteries, as well as 144 missiles, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.[/SIZE]
According to another source I read, some components have already been shipped.
The US is saying that it’s “destabilising to the region”, because of course “stable” in Western rhetoric is “unable to combat NATO airpower”.
The Israelis have gotten around the currently used air defence systems by flying low, the S-300 can target altitudes from 25 metres to 30km. It’s an all-purpose system, can shoot down cruise and ballistic missiles as well.
At the same time, there is a Russian naval group near Syria in the Mediterranean, because currently Syria hosts the only Russian “base” outside the former USSR, and it’s not really a base but a Naval “technical point” with a few guys who can do basic maintenance.