Russia honors pre-2011 military contracts with Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian military is fulfilling weapons contracts signed with the Syrian government before the onset of the present crisis in the Muslim country, an arms export official said.

Viktor Komardin, the deputy head of state arms export corporation Rosoboronexport, said Syria was receiving defense equipment outlined in contracts signed prior to 2011.

“These contracts are 100 percent defensive in character,” he was quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

The report said the Russian military is supplying its Syrian counterparts with air-defense missile systems. It said the status of the S-300 missile defense system was unclear, though the report said the system would be useless because Syrian rebels don’t have the ability to conduct air strikes.

RIA Novosti said S-300 would be a “huge obstacle” to any Western military intervention in Syria.

The Kremlin said foreign military intervention in Syria would likely make things worse.

In mid-July, Russia reiterated that it will honor its contract to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria.

“We respect all our contracts and are honoring all our contractual obligations,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with state-run Russia 24 TV.

“As yet, the contracts are not finished, they have not been delivered in full,” he added.

Russia, in June, acknowledged it has agreed to sell Syria advanced S-300 air-defense missiles, which are considered to be the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.

Russia has stood by Syrian government during the two-year conflict, blocking several UN resolutions against the country.

Lavrov renewed Russia’s objections to a potential no-fly zone in Syria, which the S-300 systems would make extremely difficult to implement, and said the western plans to arm the opposition would see most weapons fall into the hands of al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate that is believed to be among the most effective militant factions in Syria.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots to topple President Bashar al-Assad, who is well known in the world for his anti-Israeli stances.

By Fars News Agency


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