Friday, August 22, 2008

Russian doublespeak?

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the acting Russian ambassador has offered his assurances that Russia has no intention of selling a missile defense system to the Syrians.

Russia has no intention of placing the advanced Iskander missile system in Syria, acting Ambassador Anatoly Yurkov told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. He made his comments in the wake of an offer by Syrian President Bashar Assad to allow Russia to deploy the short-range solid fuel missiles in his country.

The export model of the Iskander is difficult to shoot down and has a 280-km. range. If stationed in Syria, the missiles could deliver conventional explosives to almost anywhere in Israel. "Why would we do that?" Yurkov asked of such a deployment, adding that Russia had no interest in upsetting the strategic balance in the region.

Of course, why would the Russians actually have to sell the Syrians a missile defense system considering the Russians could just host and operate within their own Syrian naval base which they are alleged to be in the process of building?

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