maandag 20 augustus 2007

Rusland levert nieuwe wapens aan Syrië

Met alle aandacht voor en kritiek op de grote hoeveelheden wapens die de VS in de regio pompt, volgens eigen zeggen om de gematigde krachten sterker te maken tegenover de radikalen, is het van belang niet te vergeten dat Rusland Syrië en Iran voorziet van de meest moderne wapensystemen. Dit is maar één van de vele berichten van een deal tussen Rusland en Syrië.
Volgens Israëlische inlichtingen zijn Russische wapens ook al naar de Hezbollah gesmokkeld.
Uiteraard doen zowel de VS als Rusland dit uit eigenbelang. De VS koopt zo, na het debacle en gezichtsverlies in Irak, zijn invloed in het Midden-Oosten. Wapenleveranties aan Israël maken dat land extra gevoelig voor druk van de VS, en door het enige land te zijn met invloed op Israël is de VS de enige die de Arabieren hun land kan teruggeven. (De vrede tussen Israël en Egypte is hier een goed voorbeeld van, lees hier meer over in dit artikel op ZioNation.)
Rusland wil zich doen gelden als (her)nieuw(d)e wereldmacht van formaat, en ondanks de eigen problemen met terrorisme neemt het in het Israëlisch-Palestijns conflict een meer pro-Palestijnse positie in.

Syria reportedly gets Russian SA-22s Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 18, 2007

Syria has begun delivery of the first batch of anti-aircraft missile and gun range land-based Pantsyr-S1E defense systems (SA-22 E in NATO terminology), the Web site of Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Saturday.

The report, based on wires from the arms-related branch of the Russian Tass news agency, cited a previously signed agreement between Syria and Russia for the purchase of 50 sets of the system for a total of about $900 million. According to other sources, however, the signed deal included only 34-36 systems.

Army Radio reported that Russian military officials agreed to the deal only after Syria vowed that the systems would not be resold or distributed to a third country, such as Lebanon or Iran.

But in May, the reputable Jane's Defense Weekly reported that Syria agreed to transfer ten of the systems to Iran.

In the past year, Israel accused Russia of supplying the Lebanese Shi'ite organization Hizbullah with weapons systems which were later used against Israeli tanks during the Second Lebanon War. The systems allegedly used by Hizbullah were older than the SA-22 E, which is a new development based on older SA-19 and SA-N-11 systems.

Vitaly Shlykov, a member of Russia's Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, slammed the Israeli claims as "silly rumors". Alexander Rybas, a top official of KBP Instrument Design Bureau, denied the allegations, saying "Hizbullah has not and would not have been able to own [Russian-made systems]."

The SA-22 E, produced by KBP, a precision weaponry manufacturer based in Tula, Russia, is a combined surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system. The versatile platform can be mounted either on a tracked or wheeled vehicle.

The system contains 12 missiles with a range of 1-12 km., carrying a load of 16 kg. each. The guns on the SA-22 E are of a 30mm. caliber, capable of firing 700 rounds per minute. The system requires two operators and a driver for the carrying vehicle.

According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the recently developed SA-22 E will be dispatched to Syria even before its deployment in the Russian military.

Other clients of the system are China, Greece and the United Arab Emirates, which already owns 50 systems, half on wheeled vehicles and half on tracked carriers.

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