The Lebanese newspaper Ad-Diyar reports that Israel has managed to block the transfer of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia to Lebanon.
According to the report, Israel applied direct and indirect pressure, as well as threatened to start an all-out war should Russia hand Lebanon these missiles (to then transfer them to Syria).
According to the report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made clear to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mohi Edine al Muallem that the final decision on the matter is in the hands of President Boris Putin.
Meanwhile, President Putin, according to Ad-Diyar, passed a message to President Assad saying Hezbollah’s entry into the conflict in Syria is “not helpful.”
In the same message, Putin told Assad that Russian could compensate Syria by handing it efficient, powerful weapons to fight the rebels, including the latest in helicopters and attack aircraft. But Moscow prefers that Hezbollah stay out of the war in Syria, because it believes the organization’s involvement would weaken Syria’s position.
Two senior intelligence officials in Washington told Fox News that Assad still has not received the S-300 land-to-air missiles.
A senior official in Moscow was quoted by Reshet Bet a also saying that his country is yet to transfer the missiles to Syria. Nevertheless, he added, it is possible that some parts of the system have been delivered.
According to the official, who is close to the Russian Defense Ministry, Moscow delayed the implementation of the deal has been signed about 3 years ago, but decided to complete it after NATO positioned Patriot missiles in Turkey, near the Syrian border.
Update: New reports are saying that Russia will be selling at least 10 MiG-29 M/M2 fighter planes to Syria.