BY JOSEF FEDERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS JERUSALEM — Israels defense minister on Tuesday signaled that his military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria, in a rare implied threat to Moscow.Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon issued his warning shortly after a top Russian official said his government reserves the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defense missiles.
Israel has been lobbying Moscow to drop the sale, fearing the missiles would upset the balance of power in the region and could slip into the hands of hostile groups, including the Lebanese militant Hezbollah, a close ally of the Syrian regime.
“As far as we are concerned, that is a threat,” Yaalon told reporters when asked about the S300s.”At this stage I cant say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent,” he said. But “if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.”