Russian Foreign Ministry officials today warned that US efforts to ease restrictions on arms shipments to Syrian rebels were seen as a “hostile act,” saying in particularly that the provision of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles could directly threaten Russian forces in Syria.
The most recent US military spending deal included provisions which sought to dramatically ease arms shipments to Syrian rebels, including the shoulder-fired “MANPADS.” The State Department, however, insisted that the US is not providing MANPADS to the rebels.
The Obama Administration has long armed rebel factions across Syria, including with things like Tow missiles, but was loathe to provide anti-aircraft missiles, for fear they would end up shooting down either civilian aircraft, or potentially getting in the hands of rebels who might shoot down US planes with them.
President-elect Donald Trump is seen to be severely souring on the arming scheme at any rate, and expected to scrap the plan in favor of focusing US efforts in Syria on fighting against ISIS, as opposed to trying to prop up various rebel factions seeking regime change.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Plans to 'Counter' Russia and China in Africa - December 13th, 2018
- Bolton: Trump Won't Meet Putin While Russia Holds Ukrainian Ships - December 13th, 2018
- Turkey Builds Up Military at Syria Border for Planned Offensive - December 13th, 2018
- Israel to Approve Thousands of Unauthorized West Bank Settler Homes - December 13th, 2018
- Yemen Talks End With Ceasefire Agreed for Hodeidah - December 13th, 2018