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Syrian military delegation arrives in Moscow

RIA Novosti

19/05/2008 12:24 MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - A group of Syrian military officials arrived in Moscow on Monday to discuss prospects for bilateral military and technical cooperation, a Russian Air Force spokesman said.

During the five-day visit, the delegation led by Syrian Air Force and Air Defense Commander Gen. Akhmad Al Ratyb will meet with Russian Defense Ministry and Air Force officials, visit several military units and defense industry plants, Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper earlier wrote that Moscow and Damascus had agreed on deliveries of the latest Russian MiG-29SMT fighter. Syria also bought 36 Pantsir S1E air-defense systems from Russia, and hopes to receive Strelets short-range air defense systems, Iskander tactical missile systems, Yak-130 aircraft, and two Amur-1650 submarines.

Israel and the U.S. are sensitive about Russian-Syrian military and technical cooperation, fearing not only a reinforcement of Syria's Armed Forces, but also the possibility that modern weapons could fall into the hands of Hezbollah fighters and Iran, in violation of the existing international embargo.


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