The Syrian Arab Army's 42nd Brigade of the 4th Armored Division is photographed with their Russian military advisers.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:10 P.M.) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is completely dependent on Russian weapons, and that it will be modernized in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Assad told Russia’s Sputnik Agency on Thursday: “Two years ago, we began implementing a plan to modernize our army, and it is clear that we will do this modernization in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense, because our army for several decades has been completely dependent on Russian weapons.”

The Syrian President commented on a question about whether Syria is interested in acquiring the S-300 and S-400 systems, saying that it may not necessarily be related to missiles, as there may be other priorities for military-technical cooperation in relation to the “on the ground” conflict.

He continued, “We have priorities, we are not necessarily talking about missiles. There may be other priorities at the present time regarding the conflict on the ground. We have a complete plan, but we must act according to the priorities.”

He pointed out that Damascus usually does not talk about the details of its military plans, but it is generally a matter of modernizing the Syrian Army in all respects.

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