Monday, October 10, 2005

Putin Strikes Again

  • Putin Strikes Again-Vladimir Putin once more proved he is no friend of the US or the West by breaking a promise to President Bush and Ariel Sharon and supplying Syria with the Iskander 26 mobile surface missle. With a 400-km range and a 480-kilo warhead the missiles can easily hit anywhere in Israel. The system can be used against small and large targets alike, easily overcoming air defenses. It is almost impossible for existing electronic weapons systems to prevent the Iskander’s launch because of its speed and high flexibility. Its targets are found in mid-flight by satellites, accompanying airplanes, conventional intelligence centers or a lone soldier directing artillery fire. Targets may also be found by feeding photos into the missile’s computer by means of a scanner. Back in January of 2005 Moscow announced the news of a big new arms deal with Syria that included the following missiles: the Iskander SS-26, SA-10 Grumble ground-to-air, and SA-18 Grouse (Igla 9K38) shoulder-launched anti-air missiles capable of hitting objects at an altitude of 3,600 meters and range of 5,200 meters.

    Sharon in a summit with Putin shortly afterward protested and let him know that the proposed sale was unacceptable and would radically alter the balance of power inthe region. Washington weighed in as well, maintaining it posed a threat to the US army in Iraq.

    After weeks of `diplomacy' and pressure, president Vladimir Putin and defense minister Sergei Ivanov relented and promised Washington and Jerusalem to withhold the Iskander SS-26 from Syria. The other items would be modified and rendered fit for defensive use only.

    Looks like Putin’s promise to the Americans and Israelis to withhold the missile’s sale was no more than a time-winning ploy until an opportunity presented itself to go through with the transaction.

    Just like Russia's building of nuclear sites and defenses in Iran, this is a clear signal that Putin and Russia have their own agenda and are no allies of the West in the fight against jihad.

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