Russian Missiles for Syria

Syria will receive more advanced weaponry from the Russian arsenal as Putin continues to improve business dealings with state supporters of terror. More in this Telegraph story.

President Vladimir Putin is stirring yet more memories of the Cold War as Russia begins delivery of around 50 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.

The Syrian regime, an ally of Moscow throughout the Cold War, is also a key supporter of both Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon.

It is feared that Syria could pass on some of the Russian-made weapons to their Middle East allies. advertisement

The Pantsyr-S1E anti-aircraft missiles are part of a £450 million contract signed earlier this year between Syria and the Russian state arms firm, Rosoboronexport.

Some observers believe that about 10 of the weapons, which are extremely accurate at short ranges, could be transferred to Iran, which is locked in confrontation with the West over its nuclear programme.

“There is a widespread understanding that Iran should receive part of these deliveries,” said Ivan Safranchuk, Moscow director of the US-based World Security Institute.

The math here is more complex than Syrian money for Russian weapons. Far more important to Putin and his cronies is to increase instability in the Middle East. This tried and true practice pushes up oil prices, putting more money into the accounts of the Russian energy giants. Strangely, little of that money ever seems to end up with Russian workers.