Russia has supplied ship-killer missiles to Syria in defiance of the growing western demands for an arms embargo against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has delivered the Bastion anti-ship missile system equipped with Yakhont supersonic missiles to Syria, said Senator Vyacheslav Popov, former Northern Fleet Commander.
Under a 2007 contract, Russia was to supply two Bastion complexes with 72 Yakhont missiles. The fire-and-forget Yakhont with a 300-km range is the Russian version of the Indo-Russian Brahmos missile. The only difference is that Brahmos uses the Indian computer and navigation system.
“This weapon system will enhance Syria’s defence potential,” Mr. Popov told the Interfax news agency on Friday.
Another source quoted by Interfax said the Russian missiles “will be able to protect Syria’s entire coast against a possible attack from the sea.”
A United Nations commission of inquiry on Monday called for an arms embargo on Syria, but Russia rejected the demand.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described such calls “dishonest” as they implied an arms cutoff to the Syrian government but not to its opponents. “We know how that worked in Libya when the arms embargo only applied to the Libyan army, whereas the opposition received weapons, and countries like France and Qatar were not embarrassed to admit this publicly,” he said, adding that was time to “stop using ultimatums” to pressure Damascus and seek a political settlement to the conflict.
Next week Russia is dispatching a flotilla of three warships to Syria.
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