LONDON — Syria has reportedly agreed to purchase an advanced
missile from Russia.
Diplomatic sources said Russia would begin deliveries of the Yakhont missile as part of
expanded naval cooperation with Syria, Middle East Newsline reported.
They said Syria has agreed to allow
the Russian Navy use of the port of Tartous as well as the expansion of
logistic services to Moscow's military.
Also In This Edition
The sources said the Yakhont would
be deployed on Syria's small navy as part of expanded cooperation with the
"The deal is that Russia will supply and train the Syrians to use this
new missile," a diplomat said.
The Kremlin was also said to have been working on a plant to expand the
Tartous port to enable the docking of large Russian Navy ships. The sources
said Tartous would become a regional maintenance center for the Russian
Yakhont, with a 200-kilogram conventional warhead, was described as a
sea-to-sea missile with land-attack capabilities. The ramjet-powered missile
was said to have a range of 300 kilometers and could threaten Israeli
throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Yakhont could also be fired from
The sources said Israel has discussed the Yakhont deal with the Kremlin.
They said Israel expressed concerns that Syria would transfer Yakhont to the
Iranian-based Hizbullah in neighboring Lebanon.
"The Israelis now see every Syrian military deal as one that could help
Hizbullah as well," the diplomat said. "This is because Iran pays for most
of the military contracts signed by Damascus."