Syria inks jet deal with Russia: daily

Syria inks jet deal with Russia: daily

Russia has signed a contract to sell combat jets to Syria, Russian daily Kommersant reported yesterday. The daily, citing an unidentified source close to Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms trader, said the $550-million deal envisions the delivery of 36 Yak-130 advanced training fighter planes. A spokesman for Rosoboronexport refused to comment on the report.

If confirmed, the deal would cement Russian opposition to international efforts to put pressure on al-Assad’s regime over its attempts to snuff out the country’s uprising. The Yak-130 is a twin-engine combat trainer jet that can also be used to attack ground targets. The Russian air force has recently placed an order for 55 such jets. The jets destined for Syria will be built separately from the ones commissioned by the Russian air force, Kommersant said. “As soon as Syria transfers the advance to Russia, the factory will immediately assume the assembly of the second set for Syria,” the unnamed source told the paper.

Compiled from AFP and AP stories by the Daily News staff.

Turkish FM set to visit Russia

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will visit Russia on Jan. 25 to attend a Joint Strategic Planning Group where Syria is expected to figure highly on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Turkey has said it will support a decision from a meeting of the Arab League and was ready to work with the United Nations if the union steps in. “We are in close consultations with the Arab League, but if the regional initiatives cannot produce results to end the bloodshed in Syria, then it is only natural the issue becomes a humanitarian one, requiring international attention and the attention of the U.N.,” Davutoğlu said in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri late Jan. 22. “If the U.N. steps in, we are ready to work with them,” he said.