Report: Russia to send first batch of Yak-130 jets to Syria

Syria is expected to receive its first batch of Yak-130 aircraft from its ally Russia by the end of 2014

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Syria is expected to receive its first batch of Yak-130 aircraft from its ally Russia by the end of 2014, according to media reports on Monday.

Russia is planning to send a total of 36 of these jets by 2016, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

“We will fulfill obligations under a previously signed contract for the supply of 36 Yak-130 jets,” the Russian newspaper quoted a source close to the Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying.

The daily reported in June that Syria made an advance payment of $100 million to Russia for the first six Yak-130 jets under a contract signed in December 2011.

Meanwhile, Russia newspaper Pravada, which is associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, reported a source close to the country’s aviation business circles as saying that Moscow is planning to deliver nine aircraft to Syria before the end of this year and twelve aircrafts next year.

The English-language newspaper The Moscow Times said Rosoboronexport together with United Aircraft-Building Corporation, which has a majority stake belonging to Moscow, have scheduled the transfer of the first batch.

According to RIA Novosti, Russia has repeatedly stated that it only supplied Syria with defensive weapons without violating international law.

Yak-130 is able to imitate characteristics of several of 4+ generation fighters, which have designs dating from the 1980s to the present day. It can also perform light-attack missions and reconnaissance duties, and can carry a combat load of 3,000 kg.

Russia and China have worked to veto any U.N. Security Council resolutions deemed to be against the Syrian government.

Syria is also backed by fighters hailing from the Lebanese Shiite movement of Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militants in its ground battles against rebels.

The Syrian opposition say Assad’s regime is also assisted by Iranian finances, manpower and military advisors from the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.