Study: Huge increase in Syria's weapons purchases in recent years
Syria bought 36 Pantsir-S1 air defense systems from Russia, a new report said
March 19th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

Study: Huge increase in Syria's weapons purchases in recent years

Syria's imports of weapons increased nearly sixfold between 2007 and 2011 compared to the previous five-year period, a new study found.

The bulk of Syria's military weapons came from Russia, according to the report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Russia's arms sales to Syria have come under fire by U.S. officials. The Pentagon has been pressured by a group of senators to end a multimillion dollar U.S. military contract with Russia for helicopter parts for use by the Afghanistan air force.

"Syria’s imports of major weapons increased by 580 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. Russia supplied 78 per cent of Syrian imports in 2007–11, followed by Belarus (17 per cent) and Iran (5 per cent). Russia’s arms supplies included an estimated 36 Pantsir-S1 and 2 Buk-M2E SAM systems and 2 Bastion-P coastal defence missile systems. Russia has opposed a proposal for a UN arms embargo on Syria and plans further deliveries, including 24 MiG-29M2 combat aircraft and 36 Yak-130 trainer/combat aircraft."

The Pantsir is a short-range air defense system that can intercept missiles at less than a dozen miles range, and the Buk-M2E SAM is a surface-to-air missile system with long range, high altitude capability, though not capable of intercepting a missile, like the American Patriot system, explained weapons expert John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org. In an email to Security Clearance, Pike said the Bastion-P coastal missile defense system is "a big supersonic anti-shipping cruise missile, overkill for the Israeli navy, but just fine for a U.S. carrier."

The MiG-29M2 has a murky track record. Algeria purchased some but "sent them back because of poor quality control," Pike said.

Russia, which is second only to the United States in arms sales, sent 10% of their total weapons to customers in the Middle East, according to SIPRI's report.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Israel • Middle East • Military • Russia • Syria
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Parn

    NWIP / Military ID and Tricare are 2 different ngtihs. You need a new ID card and if you are over 21 then you need to get her proof that you are a student. To get one you need a Form DD1172 and a Power of Attorney from her to go get one from the closest Pass

    April 7, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
  2. Tony

    Syrians are asking for international protection. A cry of humanity that the western world are ignoring particularly the black president Obama and his secretary Mrs Clinton. Shame on those who keep talking for the last sixty years about the holcast in Europe and praising Assad or even secretly aiding him and giving him more time to kill his unarmed people.
    What we are witnessing in syria is appaulling. Where is the conscience of the world. China, Russia and Iran is helping Assad and the western world is silent...shame on you president Obama.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • Kentucky_Tone

      "The black president" just call the president by his name. Race and color is not required. Show some respect.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Feltch

      "The black president"..........what an asshole.

      And no, I don't mean Obama.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Clinton

      Tony,
      There's a lot of reasons why we're not moving into Syria to help... for 1 the US can't unilaterally take action to help the Syrians, for 2 the Russians and the Chinese are blocking the UN From doing anything to help, for 3 the Arab League apparently has no balls and won't do anything to stop the violence. 4. The situation is not clear cut, there are many (though not the majority) that support Assad within Syria, 5. It's kind of hard for the US to jump into a situation and try and help the people that only 10 years ago were cheering the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York. Basically you're asking the US to put their young men and women's lives on the line to try and save those who cheered at the deaths of our countrymen, and not only that, but there's zero guarantee that "helping" would not just make the situation worse, many in the Middle East hate us to the point that EVERYTHING bad is an American/Israeli conspiracy, so say we go in there... then what? They won't view us as liberating heroes, half will decide we're part of a conspiracy to steal their land and oil and then all of a sudden we're bogged down in another country where we wanted to help and all our good intentions, money, blood, sweet, tears, and lives can't help because of an untrusting people.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
      • Blah

        Most Syrians support the President, after the mass-rallies in 15th march 2012. What evidence do they have for the number of opposing people other than a few videos and the testaments of incredible witnesses?

        March 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  3. ask gorbi about disarming lethal weapons putin

    putin has enjoyed the growth of russia and the quality of life for the people of russia because of the hard choices of gorbi to walk towards the common good of the russian people rather than to continue to carry the crushing burden of military hardware and military might , and if you do not believe this than one should ask the common folk of the usa.

    military might has an honourable place in a nation , however the oppression of the military might against anyone is not only draining but very destructive to those who support the weight of it , right mr cheney.

    all this high tech military hardware in syria or any other place will be the destruction of those who abuse it. this is in fact recorded in history many many times, including vietnam. why does such power and might fail ? well the answer to that is found in prayer to the creator of us, and if you do not believe that than why is it on the battle field is it so important to pray over the dying and wounded ??

    so putin can man the rudder to a course set for good of man kind or for the destruction of many. this military hardware in syria does not need to be manned .

    March 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • bread man

      SO NORTH KOREA and now IRAN ARE UNDER THIS BURDEN !

      March 20, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply

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