Putin hints arms deal with Syria to be implemented
Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted Friday night that a reported sale of missiles to Syria will go on as planned, despite objections by Israel and the United States.
Putin, in an interview with Israel's Channel 10 television, said that the sale of SA-18 surface-to-air missiles would not in any way change the balance of powers in the Middle East. "We understand the importance of the balance and are committed to keeping it, but the weapons at stake will not change this balance," Putin said in comments published by Haaretz.
Responding to Israeli fears, Putin asserted that the missiles will not find their way to other than the Syrian army. "We have the ability to know exactly where these missiles are located," Putin said, and added that the missiles are mounted on vehicles, and cannot operate if they are detached from them.