Jerusalem aimed harsh criticism at Russia on Friday for its decision to supply Syria with advanced missiles, including anti-aircraft missiles and new anti-tank missiles that can penetrate Western-made tanks. Senior Israeli officials expressed concerns that the arms would be transferred to Hizbullah, warning that missiles that were supplied to Syria in the past got into the hands of the group and were used against IDF tanks during the summer's war in Lebanon. Vice Premier Shimon Peres said that the supply of arms to Syria "encouraged Damascus to turn to war."
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"Syria is moving between peace overtures and its temptations to go to war to which arms supply is an incentive," added Peres.
The vice premier went on to say that the UN had admitted that the weapons flow from Syria to Hizbullah was continuing, adding that Israel needed to exert pressure on Moscow to stop supplying Damascus with arms.
MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "seemingly decided to restore Russia's Soviet-Empire status," adding that the Russian president was "playing with fire."
Shalom told Israel Radio that Damascus had already paid all its dues to Russia in the form of money Moscow had received from Iran.