May 19, 2013 15:32
by Pesach Benson
Russia’s supplying Syria with advanced Yakhonts anti-ship missiles. The NY Times, which broke the story, explains why these “ship-killer” rockets matter in a civil war where rebels have zero naval capabilities:
Unlike Scud and other longer-range surface-to-surface missiles that the Assad government has used against opposition forces, the Yakhont antiship missile system provides the Syrian military a formidable weapon to counter any effort by international forces to reinforce Syrian opposition fighters by imposing a naval embargo, establishing a no-fly zone or carrying out limited airstrikes.
Later in the weekend, a Russian diplomat explained to Time the reason for the sale:
Weapons systems like the S-300, he said, “would simply set the right conditions” for negotiating Assad’s departure.
Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted that Israel would take action against “the leakage of advanced weapons to Hezbollah . . .”
Source material can be found at this site.