New Russian arms shipment arrives in Syria

Special to

ABU DHABI — Russia has sent additional weapons to the regime of
Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Diplomatic sources said a Russian ship filled with weapons was ready to
dock in Syria. They said the weapons were believed to include
surface-to-surface rockets.

A Russian cargo ship carrying a large amount of weapons is enroute to Syria. /

“Russia wants to build Syrian forces to counter any attack from Jordan and Turkey,” a diplomatic source said.

The sources confirmed a report by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya satellite television that the Russian weapons ship was expected to arrive in Syria imminently. Al Arabiya did not identify the weapons on the vessel.

In late 2011, the Kremlin sent a range of advanced military platforms to Syria. They were said to have included the Bastion coastal defense system and the Iskander-E long-range rocket.

The Al Arabiya report came in wake of an agreement signed in Moscow for scientific and technical cooperation by Russia and Syria. Officials said the accord would include Russian assistance to Damascus in the area of energy.

The Syrian opposition has asserted that another weapons ship was meant
to arrive in Syria imminently. The opposition said the ship left North Korea
and was to have arrived in the port of Latakia with spare parts and
munitions for the Syrian military.

The United Nations has urged countries not to send weapons to Syria
amid the Sunni revolt against Assad. But Russia said it was supplying
defense systems ordered before the revolt erupted in March 2011.

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