US slams Russian anti-ship missiles going to Syria

Associated Press + More

By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is criticizing Russia's decision to provide Syria with anti-ship missiles, which it says will only worsen the civil war.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the missiles will embolden Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and "prolong the suffering."

He called the Russian decision "ill-timed and very unfortunate."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also urged Russia to rethink its military aid. The two defense officials spoke at a news conference.

They were commenting on a New York Times report that Russia recently delivered an advanced version of Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had said earlier the U.S. was aware of no "new shipments" of the weapons.

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