Syria has received the first shipment of Russian missiles that are part of a more sophisticated air defense system, President Bashar Assad told Lebanon’s Hezbollah-owned TV channel, according to remarks released by the station Thursday.
Assad’s comment on the arrival of the long-range S-300 air defense missiles in Syria could further ratchet up tensions in the region and undermine efforts to hold U.N.-sponsored talks with Syria’s warring sides.
Israel’s defense chief, Moshe Yaalon, said earlier this week that Russia’s plan to supply Syria with the weapons was a threat and that Israel was prepared to use force to stop the delivery.
Al-Manar TV, owned by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, released Assad’s comments on the Russian missiles in print, through its breaking news service Thursday morning.
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