You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Russia says it will keep selling missiles to Syria

BEIRUT — Russia defended its sales of antiaircraft systems to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, just days after joining forces with the United States for a new push to end Syria’s civil war through negotiations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov avoided saying whether those sales included advanced S-300 batteries.

Continue reading below

Israel has asked Russia to cancel what it said was the imminent sale of the S-300 missiles, portrayed by Secretary of State John Kerry as destabilizing to Israel’s security.

The S-300s would make it harder for the United States and other countries to even consider intervening militarily or enforcing a no-fly zone in Syria. The United States has urged Russia — an Assad ally along with China, Iran, and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia — to cut off weapons supplies to Syria.

Despite such disagreements, Russia and the United States decided this week to convene an international conference to bring representatives of the Assad regime and the opposition to the negotiating table.

Such talks would aim at setting up a transitional government. No date has been set.

The regime and the Syrian opposition have welcomed the idea, but with conditions. The opposition says talks can only begin once Assad and his aides have left.

The regime says it will keep fighting the rebels, without saying at which stage it would be willing to recognize a cease fire.

The civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad in March 2011, has killed tens of thousands of Syrians and displaced several million. The two sides are deadlocked, though the regime has scored recent military gains.

On Friday, the UN commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, raised alarm over the western rebel-held town of Qusair, close to Lebanon, which has been besieged by Syrian troops for several weeks.

Pillay said her team reported a major troop buildup in the area and noted that an increasing number of residents were being displaced.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.