Israel condemns Russian missile shipment to Syria

By Zoe Winograd, May 28, 2013
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzeborn)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzeborn)

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister has confirmed that Moscow will provide Syria with defence missiles.

Sergei Ryabkov told the press today that Russia plans to ship long-range S-300 air defence missiles to Syria in order to prevent foreign intervention by “hotheads”.

Israeli Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz condemned the deal.

He said: “We’re very concerned. We don’t understand — we think this behaviour of supplying such arms to Damascus, to Mr Assad, in this crucial time of terrible civil war, we think that this is totally wrong.”

Mr Steinitz added that the missiles may also be used as “offensive” weapons "because with range of up to 200 or 300 kilometres, you can attack all places, also Ben Gurion Airport.”

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon commented that the deal between Russia and Syria was moving slowly. He said: “Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does, we know how to act.”

Last updated: 3:20pm, May 28 2013