Russia: Syrian rebels have US-made weapons


Members of Jihadist group Hamza Abdualmuttalib train near Aleppo on July 19, 2012.



A senior Russian military general has claimed that the Syrian rebels now posses weapons manufactured in the US, including anti-aircraft Stingers.

The general, Nikolai Makarov, who was quoted by Interfax news service, wanted to clear up the "roots" of the surface-to-air missiles that are in possession by the rebels in Syria, though he did not claim to know who had supplied the rebels with the weapons.  

Last July, NBC News reported that the Free Syrian Army, part of the rebel forces fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad had obtained nearly two dozen shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (MANPADs). However, the Free Syrian Army denied the claims.  

Russia is the main supplier of arms to its ally, the Syrian government, and has placed most of the blame for the ongoing violence in Syria on the rebels.  

BBC News reported that the west has been reluctant to arm the Syrian rebels with weapons, as they fear it could get into the hands of Islamic militants.

Meanwhile, UN and Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has been attempting to negotiate a ceasefire between the Syrian government and the rebels for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.  

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