Report: Russia to Delay Chopper Shipment to Syriaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Russia will delay its controversial shipment of three attack helicopters and an air defense system to Syria until security is restored in the country, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.
"The decision to delay the Syrian delivery timeframe is based on the escalating military and political situation in the country and the act of terror in which several senior Syrian officials were killed and injured," the unnamed military source told the news agency.
"In these conditions, the authorities are not able to guarantee the safe reception of the helicopters."
The source added that Russia still intended to complete the delivery even though its initial attempt was exposed by the U.S. State Department and foiled in June when the British insurer ended up cancelling the cover of the transporting ship.
"The helicopters and aid defense equipment will be delivered to Syria after the situation there normalizes," the source said.
The privately-chartered vessel Alaed initially returned to a Russian Arctic port near the main Northern Fleet base in Murmansk before moving last week to the Kaliningrad exclave.
Interfax had earlier Friday reported that the three helicopters had been taken off the Alaed at the Kaliningrad region port from which they had originally sailed.
The helicopters had undergone an upgrade and repairs in Kaliningrad that Russia said were performed under a contract with Syria that was signed in 2008 long before the first fighting began.