On May 17, the Obama administration decried Russia’s sale of advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria. According to the LA Times, the acquisition of these “Yakhont cruise missiles with advanced radar” will make it more difficult for the U.S. and its allies to use naval ships to conduct support operations like launching jets to impose a no-fly zone should the U.S. decide to intervene in Syria.
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey described the missile sale as “ill-timed and very unfortunate.”
In addition to the missile sale, Russia appears to have initiated a buildup of “warships in the Eastern Mediterranean.” Dempsey warns that this could “embolden” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and extend the civil war that has torn that country apart.
Russia also plans to sell “S-300 surface-to-air long-range missiles” to Syria. The Obama admin is asking Russia not to follow through on this sale, as they are worried such missiles might fall into the hands of “Hezbollah militants or extremist groups” involved in the conflict.