Although Obama briefly met with Putin when he arrived in St. Petersburg, the Russian president said in an interview published Wednesday that his country could send Syria and its neighbors components of a missile shield if the U.S. attacks. Putin also said he would reconsider delivery of S-300 missiles.
"We have a contract for the delivery of the S-300s. We have supplied some of the components, but the delivery hasn't been completed," Putin said. "We have suspended it for now. But if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world."
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that Russia might replace military assets destroyed in an attack.
"The warnings raise the possibility of a supposedly 'limited' strike on Syria turning into a proxy tit-for-tat between Russia and the U.S.," Fox News added.
Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a military analyst with Fox News, said that Putin "will live up to what he says."
"If we destroy Syrian military technology, Putin will replace it," he added.
Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., also raised concerns about a military response from Russia.
"We can certainly say that Russia would have options to strike us in that theater in retaliation for us striking their ally," he said.
"Russia has capabilities that range from the asymmetric, including cyber, all the way up through strategic nuclear weapons. And again, it wouldn't be helpful in this setting to speculate about that," Dempsey said in response.
“Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov of Russia has made it clear - pretty much to paraphrase - Russia does not intend to fight a war over Syria,” he said Wednesday. “And I’ve had personal conversations with President [Vladimir] Putin and with the foreign minister that have indicated Syria doesn’t rise to that level of potential conflict. Their ships are kind of staying out of the way. They are not threatening that. And I don’t think that would be what would happen here.”
On Wednesday, the Associated Press said Putin called Kerry a liar for denying Al Qaeda involvement in the Syrian civil war.
"This was very unpleasant and surprising for me. We talk to them (the Americans) and we assume they are decent people, but he is lying and he knows that he is lying. This is sad," he said.
Putin also warned that a strike against Syria without U.N. Security Council approval would be seen as an act of aggression.
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