Putin: S-300 missiles not sent to Syria yet

Updated 05 June 2013
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Putin: S-300 missiles not sent to Syria yet

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia hasn’t yet fulfilled a contract to send sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria to avoid tilting the balance of power in the region.
Russian officials have acknowledged that Moscow signed a deal for the delivery of the powerful missiles a few years ago, but have been coy about whether any of them have been delivered.
Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar last week that Russia has fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included the advanced S-300s. Israel’s defense minister told a parliamentary committee Monday that according to “Russian talk,” the weapon has not yet been delivered.
Speaking after a Russia-European Union summit in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, Putin defended the S-300 deal, saying it complies with the international law, but added that Russia hasn’t yet fulfilled it.
“It’s perhaps the best such weapon in the world,” Putin said at a news conference. “It’s indeed a serious weapon. We don’t want to throw the region off balance.”
“The contract has been signed a few years ago. It hasn’t been fulfilled yet,” Putin said.
The S-300 missile system, which has a range of up to 200 km and the capability to track down and strike multiple targets simultaneously, could significantly limit the Israeli air force’s ability to act. Israel has threatened to attack the missiles if they are delivered. Putin also criticized the EU’s decision to lift its weapons embargo for Syrian rebels, saying that Russia was “disappointed” by the move, which he said ran contrary to international law.
He said that Russia would continue to push for a peace conference on Syria, but added that the prospects for convening it have been clouded by the “lack of goodwill on behalf of the armed opposition.”


Man rams vehicle into restaurant in eastern US, kills 2; injuries

(Shutterstock image)
Updated 25 min 7 sec ago
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Man rams vehicle into restaurant in eastern US, kills 2; injuries

BESSEMER CITY, US: A man intentionally rammed a vehicle into a North Carolina restaurant busy with a lunchtime crowd Sunday, killing his daughter and another person and injuring several others, authorities said Sunday.
Bessemer City Police said in a statement that preliminary evidence indicates the man purposely drove into the Surf and Turf Lodge about noon Sunday. Footage from the scene showed emergency crews treating people on the ground outside the restaurant as shocked patrons milled about afterward. Killed was 26-year-old Katelyn Tyler Self, the daughter of the driver and a Gaston County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Authorities haven’t released the name of the second person who died.
Police said the driver, Roger Self, was arrested after the car had smashed its way fully inside into the restaurant in Bessemer City, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Charlotte. Authorities did not immediately make clear what charges Self faces though authorities said they were opening a homicide investigation.
The Gaston Gazette identified Roger Self as a businessman from Dallas, North Carolina.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Rob Tufano called the crash a “mass casualty” incident, and reports said some of the victims were flown by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center. There was no immediate report on the number of injured people or the severity of their injuries.
“He drove his car into the building, killing people, so that’s why we took him into custody immediately,” Bessemer City Police Chief Thomas Ellis Jr. said.
Photographs taken at the scene showed a shattered opening in a restaurant wall, where the car had smashed inside the building.
The Gaston Gazette reported that wait staff said Self had initially taken his family into the restaurant and had them seated. He then went back out to his vehicle and drove at a high rate of speed into the area where they were sitting, they said. The newspaper identified the vehicle as a sports utility vehicle.
Katelyn Self was a four-year veteran of the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Alan Cloninger told The Charlotte Observer. She worked as a corporal in the jail and was off duty when she was killed.
Cloninger choked up as he spoke about the crash.
“We’re suffering a little bit right now,” he said.
A 2017 profile in the Gazette said Roger Self ran a private investigations business called Southeastern Loss Management. It said the business opened in 1989 and mostly helped companies investigate employees’ wrongdoing.