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Syrian army 'has balance of power'

Source BBC News@

S300 missilesSome analysts have characterised the possible use of the missiles as a "game-changer" in the Syrian conflict

Syria has already received the first shipment of an advanced Russian air defence system, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is reported to have said in a Lebanese TV interview.

Russia vowed to go ahead with sending the weapons soon after an EU decision not to renew an arms embargo on Syria.

Mr Assad is also reported to have told Hezbollah-linked Al Manar TV that the tide of the war is turning.

Earlier, a rebel leader told the BBC that Hezbollah was "invading" Syria.

Gen Selim Idriss, in a BBC interview, claimed that more than 7,000 fighters of the Lebanese Shia movement were taking part in attacks on the rebel-held town of Qusair.

Fears of further tension

Who are Hezbollah?

Fighters loyal to Hezbollah bury a fighter, 26 May 2013

  • Lebanese Shia Muslim group

  • Name means the Party of God

  • Defined by hostility to Israel since 1980s

  • Fought Israel in a bitter and deadly war in 2006

  • Made up of political and military wings

  • Strongest member of Lebanon's pro-Syria bloc

  • Consistently backs Assad rule in Syria

  • Fighters known to be active inside Syria

  • Branded a terrorist group by Washington

"Syria has received the first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets," Al Manar quoted Mr Assad as saying in an interview due to be broadcast later on Thursday.

"The rest of the shipment will arrive soon."

The S-300 is a highly capable surface-to-air missile system that, as well as targeting aircraft, also has the capacity to engage ballistic missiles.

The delivery of such missiles raises fears of further tension with Israel as Syria has said it will respond directly if Israel launches any further air attacks on its territory.

Some analysts have characterised the possible use of the missiles as a "game-changer" in the Syrian conflict.

It is also feared that the missiles could endanger efforts to convene a peace conference on Syria in Geneva in June.

Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, said on Wednesday that Syria's armed forces were back on the offensive.

"Our armed forces have regained the momentum,'' he told the Lebanese media.


S-300 Surface to Air missile system

  • Type: Surface to air missile system, capable of hitting aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles

  • Special feature: Fires two missiles at a time, vertically, making it versatile and accurate

  • Origin: S-300P dates from the 1960s but current state-of-the art export versions are S-300PMU-1 and 2 which were developed in the late 1990s

  • Manufacturer: Almaz-Antey

  • Cost: $900m for full system although it is not clear whether this is what Russia is supplying to Syria

  • Specification: Each launcher vehicle [left] carries four missile containers (two missiles per target). A full battalion is six launcher vehicles with a total of 24 missiles plus command and control and long range radar detection vehicles

  • Capability: Russian 48N6 are the standard missiles fired from S-300PMU launchers. They have a range of 5-150km at an altitude of up to 30km

  • Response time: Vehicle stopping to missile firing is 5 minutes

Source: Royal United Services Institute

Đăng ký: Tieng Anh Vui

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