Syria rebels have US-made Stinger missiles - Russia
RUSSIA: Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar
al-Assad have shoulder-launched missile systems, including US-made
Stingers, Russia’s top general claimed Wednesday, prompting a strong
denial from Washington.
Russian chief of staff General Nikolai Makarov, whose country is the
Damascus regime’s top arms supplier and has refused to back the
opposition, said it was not clear who had delivered the weapons.
“We have information that the rebels fighting the Syrian army have
shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles of several states, including
Stingers made in the United States,” he said quoted by the Interfax news
agency. “We need to still find out who has delivered them,” he said.
The United States vehemently disputed the allegation, challenging
Moscow to provide proof.
“We have provided no Stingers of any kind to Syria, nor will we,”
said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “If the Russian
Federation has evidence of Stingers in the hands of the opposition, we’d
like to see it”.
Makarov said it was possible that these and other weapons could have
been delivered to the rebels from abroad on several means of transport,
including passenger planes. “For this, all kinds of transport could be
activated, including civil aviation. This is a serious matter,” Makarov
US broadcaster NBC News reported in July that the rebel Free Syrian
Army had obtained two dozen surface-to-air missiles (man-portable air-defence
systems known as MANPADS), delivered via Turkey.
“The Americans say that they have not delivered anything to the
rebels,” said Makarov. AFP