Russia delivers advanced cruise missiles to Syria

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MOSCOW — Russia, despite appeals from Israel and the U.S., has begun
delivery of an advanced cruise missile to Syria.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Moscow has delivered the
first P-800 Yakhont missiles to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Interfax, quoting Russian military sources, said Yakhont was supplied to the
Syrian Navy as part of the Russian-origin Bastion coastal defense system.

The Yakhont cruise missile is a highly accurate Russian weapon with a 300-kilometer range, capable of carrying a warhead of up to 200 kilograms.

“The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria,” a military source said.

The sources did not provide details of the Yakhont delivery, including date or size. Syria was said to have ordered 72 P-800s, with a range of 300 kilometers.

The Kremlin has maintained that it would not bow to pressure to cancel the Yakhont deal, reported to be worth $300 million and signed in 2007.

Officials said Bastion, which included mobile radar and command and control, was deemed a defensive system that would not threaten Israel. Each battery was said to consist of 36 missiles.

“This will be able to protect Syria’s entire coast against a possible
attack from the sea,” a Russian official was quoted by Interfax as saying.

On Dec. 1, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov said Moscow would not
halt weapons to Syria despite Western sanctions. Ivanov did not elaborate.

“Russia will do whatever is not prohibited by any regulations, rules or
agreements,” Ivanov said.

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