After U.S. Suspends Talks, Russia Deploys S-300 Missile System to Syria

The deployment of the surface-to-air weapon will add to Moscow's existing military force in the war-torn country, although Russia claims the system is for the safety of its base.

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The Russian air defense system missile system Antey 2500, or S-300 VM, stands on display at an air show outside Moscow, August 27, 2013.
The Russian air defense system missile system Antey 2500, or S-300 VM, stands on display at an air show outside Moscow, August 27, 2013.Credit: Ivan Sekretarev, AP

The Russian military says it has beefed up its forces in Syria with state-of-the-art air defense missiles, a move that follows Washington's suspension of contacts with Russia over Syria.

The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that a battery of the S-300 air defense missile systems has been deployed to Syria to protect a Russian navy facility in the Syrian port of Tartus and Russian navy ships in the area.

U.S. media reported earlier this week that Russia had sent the S-300 system to Syria over the weekend in its first foreign deployment of the surface-to-air weapon in the civil war-ridden country.

The S-300 will add punch to the Russian military force in Syria, which has long-range S-400 missile defense systems and an array of other surface-to-air missiles at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia.

The U.S. announced Monday that it was suspending diplomatic contacts with Russia over Syria after trading blame with Moscow for the collapse of a Syrian cease-fire two weeks ago.

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