Russia to Deliver More Than 10 Fighter Jets to Syria, MIG Head Says

In-depth Report:

Russia is planning to deliver more than 10 MiG fighter planes to the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, the head of the state-owned MIG corporation said Friday, in a move likely to draw harsh criticism from Western governments seeking Assad’s removal amid a bloody civil war in Syria.

MIG head Sergei Korotkov told journalists that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow on Friday determining the details of the contract to deliver the MiG-29M2 jets.

“I think they will be delivered to Syria,” Korotkov said, according to Interfax.

Responding to criticism by the West regarding continued arms deliveries to Assad’s government, Russia has said it will fulfill existing contracts with the Syrian regime but would not sign new ones.

A MiG-29M2 jet in flight.

It was unclear when the contract for the sale of the MiG planes had been signed, or whether such a contract had in fact been signed yet at all.

The fate of a S-300 missile defense system slated for delivery from Russia to Syria remained uncertain on Friday. Assad responded ambiguously in an interview aired on Lebanese TV on Thursday when asked whether the missiles had arrived.

An unidentified official in the arms export business told Interfax on Friday that they had not yet been delivered and said they could not be sent earlier than this fall. The officials said the terms of the delivery would depend largely on the position of Western countries regarding the Syrian civil war.

Russia has said it will send the S-300 missiles partly to help prevent a potential no-fly zone by Western powers like the one set up in Libya during the effort to topple dictator Moamaar Gadhafi.


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