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Report: Russia Delivers Anti-Ship Missiles To Syria Regime

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov

Russia's Interfax news agency, quoting what it describes as a diplomatic source in Moscow, has reported that Russia has delivered anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria's regime.

No official confirmation or denial of the report was immediately available. The report quotes the source as saying Russia had supplied to Syria Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, as part of Bastion mobile coastal missile systems.

The report does not say when the deliveries took place or how many missiles have been delivered, but says the contract was worth around $300 million.

It says Russia believes the weapons will allow Syria to protect its entire coast from a potential seaborne attack.

The report quotes Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying in February that Moscow intended to fulfill the contract, despite opposition to the deal from Israel and its ally the United States.

The United Nations says that more than 4,000 people have been killed since protests against Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad erupted in mid-March, and that the conflict has now evolved into a "civil war."

Russia, a traditional ally of the Syrian regime, has helped block moves for UN sanctions targeting Syria over the bloodshed.

compiled from agency reports

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