Russia Sticks with Sale of S-300 to Syria

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Iran, Hezbollah and Syria cheered Russia's decision to deliver the advanced S-300 anti-missile batteries to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while others disapproved.

Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Tuesday he hoped the delivery would not take place, "but, if, by some misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do."

The U.S. State Department called it "a mistake" and also criticized Hezbollah's partnership with Assad saying it's destabilizing Lebanon while contributing to the volatile situation in Syria. 

White House spokesman Jay Carney said "providing arms to the Assad regime does not bring us closer to the political transition that Syria deserves."

But the State Department praised the European Union's announcement on Monday to lift the arms embargo on Syrian opposition, saying it will allow individual countries to decide if they wanted to provide support to rebel forces.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who recently visited Israel, said lifting the arms embargo on Syrian opposition forces "sends a very strong message from Europe to the Assad regime."

Hague said if European countries decide to send arms to anti-government forces, they would use every precaution to ensure they don't wind up arming terrorists. Britain, he said, would only do so "in company with other nations, in carefully controlled circumstances and in compliance with international law."

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