As Syria’s damn near civil war continues, Russia is selling the Bashar al Assad’s regime 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 attack jets under a freshly inked $550 million contract.
As Business Insider says, ‘nobody tells Russia who they can’t sell arms to.’ Not even when it’s a pariah regime that’s killed more than 5,000 of its own people in the last ten months.
Or as Russia’s foreign minister explains in this AP article:
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week that Moscow doesn’t consider it necessary to offer an explanation or excuses over suspicions that a Russian ship had delivered munitions to Syria despite an EU arms embargo.
Russia was acting in full respect of international law and wouldn’t be guided by unilateral sanctions imposed by other nations, he said.
The Yak-130 is the sexy little training jet design that Italian defense giant Alenia markets around the world as the M-346, Alenia is even pitching the plane under the name, T-100, for the U.S. Air Force’s eventual T-X trainer contest. The version Russia is selling Syria can be loaded with plenty of weapons on its seven wing hardpoints.
Here are the details from Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, which notes that the sale could be nullified if Assad is overthrown, as was the case with Russian contracts to Gadhafi’s Libya. Just use Google translate when you open the article.