Top Defense Official: Russian Arms Sold to Syria Will Be Used Against Israel

Russian defense minister announced on Friday that Moscow would go ahead with its sale of P-800 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria.

The Israeli defense establishment is greatly concerned about Russia's plans to go ahead with a sale of advanced arms to Syria, a defense source said on Saturday.

"Israel views [arms sale] with great concern," the senior defense official said. "The weapons will eventually be turned against Israel."

The P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missile.

According to the official, Defense Minister Ehud Barak raised the issue in meetings earlier this month with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

On Friday, Serdyukov announced that Russia would go ahead with its sale of advanced anti-ship rockets to Syria, despite recent attempts by U.S. and Israeli officials to thwart the planned deal.

The arms deal, signed in 2007, involves the sale of advanced P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to the Syrian military, weaponry which Israel considers as capable of posing significant danger to its navy vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last month, Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had tried to sway his Russian counterpart, Putin, from completing the deal, reportedly saying the missiles could be transferred to Hezbollah and used against IDF troops, as was the case in the Second Lebanon War.