U.S. Moves to Arm Terrorists in Syria with Anti-Aircraft Weapons*
Russia says that the new bill could see weapons fall into the hands of its enemies.
Russia has said that a U.S. decision to lift restrictions on supplying Syrian rebels with weapons Tuesday, would be a threat to Russian troops operating in Syria and amounts to “a hostile act.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswomen, Maria Zakharova, said in a statement that the move by Barack Obama’s administration to ease restrictions on arms deliveries, through the defence policy bill passed last week, would threaten the Russian air-force, military personnel and the Russian embassy in Syria.
“Washington has placed its bets on supplying military aid to anti-government forces who don’t differ than much blood-thirsty head choppers. Now, the possibility of supplying them with weapons, including mobile anti-aircraft complexes, has been written into this new bill,” said Zakharova.
“We, therefore, view the step as a hostile act,” Zakharova continued.
Zakharova argued that Obama’s outgoing administration was trying to get Donald Trump’s incoming administration to continue an “anti-Russian line” and is attempting to complicate the already difficult situation for when Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
The statement made reference to U.S. accusations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential elections, arguing it was an attempt at “increasing the degree of Russophobia.”
The signing of the bill is to purportedly help arm Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, a group made up of mainly Kurds fighting against the Islamic State Group. However, previous shipments of U.S. arms have landed in the hands of extremist organizations in Syria, including the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra front.
Turkey sees the majority Kurdish force as a terrorist organization and Turkey has been aiding the Free Syrian army, FSA, as part of Operation Euphrates in Northern Syria.
Despite Trump inflaming tensions with Russia, by renewing calls for an arms race, the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated President Vladamir Putin’s hope for ease tensions between the two states.