this is just chaff, but we might as well note it

I have corrected this to ‘Assad reportedly stated,’ since in fact we have only al-Akhbar’s word that he said this, and it is certainly not in the official transcript or video, as discussed here – RB

Russian papers: S-300 delivery to Syria not before 2014
AFP, May 31 2013

Russia may not deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to the Syrian regime this year, two Russian newspapers reported Friday, rejecting claims the weapons had already arrived in the country. Vedomosti cited a Russian defense industry source as saying it was unclear if the weapons would be delivered to Syria this year, while Kommersant quoted its source as saying that delivery was only planned in the second quarter of 2014. Pres Assad reportedly stated in an interview with al-Manar television broadcast Thursday that Russia had already delivered some of the promised ground-to-air S-300 missile systems. But both sources quoted by Kommersant and Vedomosti said that no delivery of the missiles had taken place yet. The contract was agreed in 2010, and according to Vedomosti is worth $1b. Kommersant added that after delivery in 2014, a minimum of another six months would be needed for the training of personnel and tests before the systems were fully operational. The source quoted by Vedomosti meanwhile said that, while the Russian government is currently insisting in public that the contract will be fulfilled, this does not mean that the actual deliveries will ever take place. No further details were given.

Russia unlikely to send S-300s to Syria before autumn – Interfax
Thomas Grove, Reuters, May 31 2013

MOSCOW – Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will probably arrive in Syria only after several months, but more Israeli air strikes or the creation of a no-fly zone would speed up delivery, a Russian arms industry source said. The arms industry source told Interfax on Friday:

Regarding the deliveries of the S-300, they can begin no earlier than the autumn. Technically it’s possible, but much will depend on how the situation develops in the region and the position of Western countries. Air attacks on Syria from the side of a neighbouring government or the introduction of a so-called no-fly zone above Syria may serve as a pretext for speeding up the deliveries of the S-300.

Vedomosti has reported that Assad bought four units of the modernised S-300PMU-2 system for nearly $1b. A Defence Ministry source said Assad would use his other air defence systems to guard the S-300, giving him “pretty good” air defences. The Defence Ministry source said Syrian troops would need to be trained on the S-300 in Russia’s southern province of Astrakhan. Former Russian Air Force Commander General Anatoly Kornukov told Interfax that such training would need a minimum of two to four weeks depending on the diligence of the recipients. The S-300s themselves would be ready for use “within five minutes after the delivery,” he said.

The following clearly states Assad was misquoted, but then in a section I have moved to the end it quotes an obviously bogus Lebanese rag with further and more insulting nonsense:

Russia has not transfered S-300 missiles to Syria, reports say
Yoel Goldman, Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, May 31 2013

Russia has not yet delivered S-300 missiles to Syria, despite Syrian indications to the contrary, reported two Russian media outlets on Friday. Vedomosti said that it was unclear whether or not the air defense systems would be delivered this year, while Kommersant reported that the S-300 missiles would only be delivered in the second quarter of 2014. According to Kommersant, the systems need another six months of testing and training before they become operational. Israeli sources said Thursday that Syria has only paid for a third of the S-300 contract. They added that even if the deal is eventually honored, it would take months for the S-300 batteries to be operational. Ehud Ya’ari of Channel 2 TV commented:

It is not clear to me that the Russians are interested in transferring the weapons. Right now, it’s more of a threat.

In remarks erroneously attributed to Assad on Thursday, the Syrian president was said to have boasted that his country had received the first batch of missiles from Russia, and to have asserted that “the rest of the load will arrive soon.” In an interview with al-Manar television broadcast Thursday night, Assad actually said that Russia had fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included the S-300 systems. Russia’s declared intention to deliver the system, which can intercept fighter jets and cruise missiles, has created a tense standoff between Israel, Syria, and Russia, with Israel threatening to do “whatever it takes” to prevent the weapons being deployed, and Syria responding that it would retaliate in kind for any Israeli strike. The Lebanese newspaper al-Diyar reported Friday that Israel had succeeded in thwarting the missile deal by threatening to start an all-out war should Russia deliver the S-300s to the Assad regime. The report also claimed that Putin offered to compensate Assad with the delivery of “effective and powerful weapons,” including modern aircraft and helicopters, to use against the Syrian rebels. According to al-Diyar, Putin had also passed a message to Assad saying that the entry of Hezbollah into the Syrian conflict was not helpful.

Am I cross with al-Akhbar fur running a bogus report? Well… yes:


Moon of Alabama has a theory about it:

It was just a fake to test the waters of who would get nervous over it. The Izzis freaked out over it 🙂 Purpose achieved …
Posted by: b | May 30, 2013 3:28:29 PM | 3

But the problem with that theory is that just to gain this puny psyop advantage, al-Akhbar gets exposed as unreliable and as a tool of the Assad govt.


  1. walter benjamin
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    i like your cat even if it isn’t yours.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Walter. Actually I found Grumpy Cat in the Guardian. It’s a cult thing, with its own blog, but that photo is the original Grumpy Cat photo which started the whole craze. It’s very english, I suppose.

  3. Demain
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Ah the competing false narratives! The transcript of the interview on al-Akhbar was really different than how Qatar is presenting it on Al Jazeera – bien sûr! ToI misstated the name of the Lebanese paper- it’s not al-Diyar it is ad-Diyar. I don’t know the article they were quoting but here’s the link to the paper, which curiously enough has the URL of someone’s name, not the paper itself (?) and I cannot vouch for the paper’s credibility in any way:

    Interestingly Asia Times has a piece you might find applicable – I don’t know the integrity of the journalists or how twisted their ties (or lack thereof), but if you feel like looking into this Gordian knot, check it out. [This article is what prompted me to look up the Lebanese paper…]

    A warning shot for Turkey-Qatar axis
    By Alper Birdal and Yigit Gunay

    The article also cites ad-Diyar… and the most interesting thing out of it all (besides the intrigue) is this:

    According to ad-Diyar, in November 2012 Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani and his intelligence chief had met with Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the meeting, a plan to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was discussed. In this meeting, *** the Israeli premier requested that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recognize Israel after Assad was ousted.

    The Qatari intelligence chief had dreams of capturing Damascus and was working with Israel to realize this dream.*** According to ad-Diyar, al-Thani was the person who was responsible for the coordination of the transfer of Yemeni jihadists to Syria after they were trained by the US Special Forces in Qatar.
    I agree with respect to al-Akhbar, I don’t think they would want to be seen as a tool and lose credibility, but then all media outlets are tools and biased to a degree… so I don’t agree with MoA on this one.

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