Rus­sia aims to boost arms sales after use in Syria

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - NATION & WORLD -

MOSCOW — Rus­sia is hope­ful that the new weapons it tested for the first time in Syria will lead to a spike in arms sales abroad, of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day.

For­eign cus­tomers, they said, have been in­ter­ested in the weapons that the Rus­sian mil­i­tary have used in Syria. Moscow has waged an air cam­paign there since Septem­ber 2015, help­ing Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad ex­pand the area un­der his con­trol.

“The chance to test weapons in real com­bat can’t be over­es­ti­mated,” said Deputy De­fense Min­is­ter Yuri Borisov, who is in charge of the mil­i­tary’s ar­se­nals. He said the weapons tested in­cluded fighter jets, he­li­copter gun­ships, mis­siles, elec­tronic war­fare sys­tems and in­fantry weapons and other equip­ment.

Rus­sia’s arms sales last year to­taled $15 bil­lion, mak­ing it the world’s sec­ond-largest arms ex­porter after the United States.

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