Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said his country had not yet delivered S-300 air-defense systems to Syria, Reuters reported.
Moscow has no interest in destabilizing the precarious balance of power in the Middle East, Putin told reporters following a meeting with top European Union officials. All Russian weapon exports to Damascus are in compliance with global rules, he said.
European Union nations and the United States in recent days have implored the Russian government not to fulfill a contract to provide the advanced anti-aircraft systems to the Bashar Assad regime as they could be used against any intervening foreign military force.
Damascus has some less-advanced S-200 air defense systems that it previously acquired from Russia, Time magazine reported. The two regiments of surface-to-air missiles have a top flight distance of roughly 150 miles "with no less than 240 missiles ready to be fired in a matter of minutes," according to Royal United Services Institute senior researcher Igor Sutyagin. Syria's other Russian-bought air defenses include 12 to 20 Pantsir-S missiles, he added.
A ground-to-ground missile attack close to Aleppo on Monday resulted in 26 deaths, Agence France-Press reported, citing casualty counts provided by a human rights organization.