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Thursday, April 21, 2005
  Thanks a bunch Pootie Poot
Haaretz - Israel News: "The SA-18 missiles Russia is selling Syria 'will of course make it difficult to fly over the residence of the Syrian president,' Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly stated yesterday. 'It will make flying low difficult,' implying what has long been believed to be the reason for the sale of the anti-aircraft missiles: Syrian embarrassment over Israeli air force planes 'buzzing' presidential palaces in Syria to issue warnings to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Russian president, who gave an interview to Channel One ahead of his historic visit next week to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said the sale of the missiles to Syria would not upset the balance of power in the Middle East.

Israel has been trying to apply as much pressure as it can to deter the Russians from making the sale, but Putin has not been convinced. He decided to go ahead with the sale after promising Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the missiles would be vehicle-mounted, and impossible to convert into shoulder-launched rockets that could end up in the hands of one of the terror organizations that Damascus hosts."
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