By insistently arming Assad, and with increasingly sophisticated air defenses, a disingenuous Moscow risks heating the northern border to boiling point.
The four-part reasoning Lavrov advances: (1) Russia’s arms sales credibility would be shattered were it to renege on the deal; (2) Russia has never made any secret of its various contracts with Assad; (3) these are defensive missile systems, not offensive weapons; and (4) the sales are not in breach of international law or Russia’s own ostensibly stringent arms sales regulations.
The Obama administration denounced Russia on Friday for providing Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime with anti-ship missiles, saying the weapons would only worsen a war that Washington and Moscow have been promising to work together on stopping.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, criticized what he called an "unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering." He spoke at a news conference after the New York Times reported that Russia recently delivered an advanced version of Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria.
"It's ill-timed and very unfortunate," Dempsey said.
Deployment presumably a warning to Israeli and Western officials regarding military intervention against Assad
In a move considered aggressive by US and European officials, Russia has sent at least 12 warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Tartous, Syria.
Russia’s increased presence in the region — which began raising eyebrows in the US three months ago — represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
“It’s a show of force. It’s muscle flexing,” a top US official told the Journal.
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro Visits Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge in Eilat
Visiting Washington, Turkish prime minister slams Netanyahu government for opposing Palestinian state, calls on Israel to ‘retreat to 1967 lines’.
Without an internal Palestinian reunification deal, there is little chance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks can lead anywhere, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday during a visit to the US.
Speaking to reporters at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, Erdogan said, “There will be no negotiations without Hamas, therefore Fatah must cooperate with it.”
Obama under judgment? – Five of his recent 'sin proclamations, endorsements and actions' corresponded with three major crises …. Chronology of Obama's activities and corresponding events ... Could this be the beginning of much more? .... John Kerry betting on the wrong horses … Russia- Israel tension worsening ... Iran’s plans to take over Syria …Iran agents training to storm Israel's border… Russia sending top air-defense system to Assad … Analysis of Russia’s S-300 system … Intervention in Syria: Three things to know .... Ground-based laser systems against rockets ..... Watch out for Petraeus in Benghazi scandal .... Tolerating totalitarianism
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