US Slams Russia’s Missile Sales to Syria

Russia Notes Arms Are Defensive in Nature

by Jason Ditz, May 17, 2013

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey has angrily condemned Russia for following through on agreed-to arms sales to Syria, insisting the decision to deliver anti-ship missiles to the war-torn nation risked prolonging the civil war.

The US and Israel have been petitioning Russia to back out of its arms contracts with the Assad government, though Russia has refused to do so, and today defended continuing its deliveries, saying the arms they are shipping are purely defensive in nature.

Indeed, it isn’t clear how today’s deliveries of anti-ship missiles would in any way impact rebels, and as with Syria’s acquisition of anti-aircraft missiles seems to be primarily aimed at discouraging foreign invasions.

Which is in no small part exactly why the US and Israel are objecting so loudly, as Israel has been attacking Syria outright in recent weeks, and the US has been talking up its own “military options,” and while none of Russia’s sales are likely to change that, they would make an offensive war against Syria much less convenient than it otherwise would be.

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