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Syria to get Russian MiGs

Russia has decided to work opposite directions to the rest of the international community as Russia’s MiG aircraft maker said it plans to sign a new agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria. It was confirmed that a a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss the details of a new contract for the delivery of MiG-29 M/M2 fighters. In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, he said Syria wants to buy “more than 10″ such fighters, but wouldn’t give the exact number. This decision can appear as surprising at a time when the entire international community is voicing about Syria and the genocide that is currently happening there. More than 70,000 people have died in the fighting and millions of Syrians have fled the country. Moscow has shipped billions of dollars’ worth of missiles, combat jets, tanks, artillery and other military gear to Syria over more than four decades. Syria now is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East and hosts the only naval base Moscow has outside the former Soviet Union. Russian media reports say Syria placed an order a few years ago for 12 MiG-29 M2 fighters with an option of buying another 12. The Stockholm Peace Research Institute also has reported that Russia planned to provide Syria with 24 of the aircraft. The MiG-29 M2 is an advanced version of the MiG-29 twin-engine fighter jet, which has been a mainstay of the Soviet and Russian air force since mid-1980s. Syria had about 20 fighters of the original make among scores of other Soviet- and Russian-built aircraft. Russia has said it’s only providing Assad with weapons intended to protect Syria from a foreign invasion, such as air defense missile systems, and is not delivering weapons that could be used in the civil war. This exposes Russia in a particular light, as one can admit Russia does not want to see a precedent being set in Syria as then it would open a door to Chechnya to seek international support for independence. However, protecting Syria so openly is also a big provocation on the part of Putin, but it is not that surprising considering the man. It also sends a very strong message to the rest of the world that Russia is still there, with awe and power.

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