Russian Official says US Sending Anti-Aircraft Weapons to Syrian Rebels

By on November 8, 2012

by Ezra Van Auken

During a meeting yesterday in the Jordanian capital, former defected Syrian official who is now a Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov acknowledged that Syrian rebels are using United States-made Stinger missiles, a shoulder mounted anti-aircraft weapon. Lavrov also commented that the weapons being used are not for defensive purposes but are clearly being used for offensives.

“Those who are supplying arms to the opposition are delivering systems that are not intended for defense. There is confirmed information that on Syrian territory there are over 50 Stingers,” Lavrov explained, adding that, “You know perfectly well what Stingers are intended for, all the more so that the leaders of the (rebel) Syrian Free Army have repeatedly said that civilian planes will be a legitimate target.”

This isn’t the first time Russian officials have noted on the American made anti-aircraft weapons being used in Syria against Assad’s regime. Last month, Russia’s General Nikolai Makarov said that Russia has “reliable information” on Syria’s Stinger missile usage. Although, Makarov said, “It should be cleared up who delivered them,” looking for more transparency.

Responding to last month’s claim by Makarov, Leon Panetta commented that he “certainly doesn’t know of us providing any such missiles in that area,” denouncing claims by Russian officials. Despite not having clear evidence of the US providing Stinger missiles to Syrian rebels, the US has shipped those same weapons to other groups in the past, which could have easily led to those same weapons falling into the hands of Syrian rebels.

Whether or not rebels have obtained Stinger missiles from the US, one thing is clear, rebels have obtained other types of weapons from the Western country.

On three different occasions SLN has reported on Obama’s administration either discussing or sending weapons to Syrian rebels. One instance was at the end of the NATO Summit in Chicago, with which Obama agreed to an arms deal consisting of anti-tank missiles. Then, in the middle of June, President Obama’s Security Council as well as the CIA met with Syrian rebel leaders in D.C. for an arms discussion and deal.

Just a week after reports came out of a meeting in DC, the New York Times reported that CIA operatives were on the Turkish border trading weapons to anyone viable of helping to take down Assad’s regime.

Interestingly, there is a problem with the weapons being funneled into Syria. US officials are not fully aware of where the weapons actually land when they are sent there.

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One Comment

  1. Theresa

    November 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I feel that a petition for transparency & audit is essential ~ we, the people should not have a shadow “Gov’t” ~ it is NOT the way that the American system is intended to work, per the US Constitution. If my “Gov’t” is supplying arms to escalate WAR, it is not by my will, wishes or consent. Petitions are LOUD lately and effective because we share TRUTH ~ END THIS is the goal (side note: first petition initiation… sigh ~ look how i’ve grown) TY wwNeighbors for sharing & caring R3VOLUTION is a verb !

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