Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Metastizing Missiles - II

From today's RFE/RL Newsline:
RUSSIA REPORTEDLY ASKS SYRIA NOT TO USE RUSSIAN MISSILES IF ATTACKED.

Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Saltanov, who is a senior envoy to the Middle East, told Syrian leaders in Damascus recently that Moscow does not want them to use Russian-made missiles to retaliate if Israel attacks Syria, Reuters reported from Damascus on July 25, citing unnamed diplomatic sources (see "RFE/RL Newsline," July 20, 21, and 24, 2006). The news agency quoted one diplomat as saying that "Saltanov told them Syria can use Russian antiaircraft missiles to thwart Israeli air attacks, but that Russia objected to using Russian Scuds to retaliate." A second diplomat added that "the Russians don't want their missiles to hit Israeli cities. Syria, however, has more advanced North Korean missiles." Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Syria has diversified its sources of arms beyond Russia to include China and North Korea. It reportedly has a large arsenal of surface-to-surface missiles. PM
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