Israel Eyeing Russian-Syrian Arms Deal

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Syrian President Bashar Assad will pay a state visit to Moscow next week, according to Russia's RIA news agency, and Israeli leaders are concerned about Russian weapons transfers to Syria.

According to RIA, Assad will arrive on August 20 for a two-week stay, during which he will meet with Russian leaders to discuss "regional developments."

According to media reports, Assad would like to purchase Russia's S-300 missile defense system, one of the world's most advanced, which Russia is also offering to Iran.

A year ago, in August 2007, Russia negotiated a complicated arms deal with Syria, which included payment of an $11 billion dollar debt.

After lopping 70 percent of the debt off the top, Russia divided the remaining 30 percent between cash payments and permanent port services for the Russian navy at Syria's Tartus and Latakia ports.

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