Friday, May 31, 2013

Why You Should Care About Russia Shipping S-300 Air-Dwefense Missiles To Syria

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Why You Should Care About Russia, Syria, and Air-Defense Missiles -- Popular Mechanics

Syrian head Bashar al-Assad said today that he was acquiring S-300 antiaircraft missiles from Russia. Why is this happening now, after so many months of civil war, and what does it mean?

The civil war in Syria just got even more complicated. Today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a Lebanese TV network run by the Islamic group Hezbollah that Russia has delivered the first pieces of advanced, long-range antiaircraft missiles called S-300PMUs. These are some of the world’s most capable air-defense missile systems, though they’ve never before been shot in combat. (Here’s a description of the mobile system from Almaz-Antey, the company that makes them. Click “Favorit” for details.)

This could be a bluff, and one enabled and abetted by the Russians. But it could be true, because the Russians have been supplying the Assad regime with heavy weapons that have helped the dictator stave off the rebel factions arrayed against him. (Lest you start rooting for any side too quickly, remember those rebel factions include radical Islamists, including those tied to al-Qaida, in their ranks.) Either way, here’s what you should know.

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My Comment: A good summary on why Syria is receiving this surface to air missile system.

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