In a meeting today with a defected former Syrian official, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reported that his country has learned rebels are in possession of at least 50 US-made Stinger missiles, an advanced shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft weapon.
“Those who are supplying arms to the opposition are delivering systems not intended for defense,” Lavrov said, citing past comments by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels that they consider civilian aircraft a legitimate target.
Russian officials noted the presence of Stinger missiles last month, with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying he “doesn’t know” of any examples of the US providing such weapons to the rebels.
Of course, the US has delivered Stinger missiles to dozens of nations over the years and even to some rebel factions, so even if the US is not directly providing them (and it would be unlikely they would, fearing their use against civilian planes would harm their narrative) there are plenty of ways in which the weapons could find their way into rebel hands.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Syria Informs US Leaders on Future Air Wars - September 19th, 2017
- Western Nations Clash at UN Over Iran Nuclear Deal - September 19th, 2017
- US May Try to Shoot Down Future North Korean Missile - September 19th, 2017
- Catalonia Mayors Exercise Right to Remain Silent in Referendum Interrogation - September 19th, 2017
- US Bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria at Record Pace - September 19th, 2017