The London based "al-Awsat" reported on 11 August that Iran and a number of Gulf States have worked out a way to handle Syria's $12 billion arms debt to Russia so that Syria can now sign a new major arms deal with Russia which will include: 48 MIG-29's; 14-24 Sukhoi-27 [which is claimed to be a better performer than the Israeli F-15's]; SAM-11 ground to air missiles to replace the SAM-6's; SAM-12's for defense against missiles and jets to replace the SAM-5's, M300BMU - a development of the SAM-10 which is claimed to be superior to the American Patriot, able to strike jets 100 kilometers away and missiles 40 kilometers away; as well as 300 T-80 tanks.

The sales are seen as part of a general strategy towards a Russian-Syrian-Iranian alliance. ("al-Awsat" - London, 11 August, 1997)

IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

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