Pentagon says Gates worried about Russia arms sale

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 21, 2010 03:07

 
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A spokesman says U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates shares Israel's concerns that Russia plans to sell anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Gates told Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a private meeting on Monday that he worried the sale could further "destabilize" the region.

Israeli leaders have said the sale poses a major threat to Israel because Syria backs the Lebanese Hezbollah, which has used Russian-made weapons against Israel in the past.

Morrell said that Gates also raised the issue with a Russian delegation visiting the Pentagon last week. When asked for specifics, Morrell would say only that Gates asked his Kremlin counterparts to be "mindful" of the strategic consequences of such sales.

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