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10 months ago
Russia says arming Syrian opposition "absolutely counterproductive" - RIA
September 30, 2016 / 7:26 PM / 10 months ago

Russia says arming Syrian opposition "absolutely counterproductive" - RIA

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Possible deliveries of shoulder-fired missiles to the Syrian opposition would be "absolutely counterproductive," RIA news agency cited a Russian deputy foreign minister as saying on Friday.

"This would be an be absolutely counterproductive approach because ultimately these people, which have been trained and armed by the Americans, they will do the same thing that what was done in New York on Sept. 11 (2001)," RIA cited Mikhail Bogdanov as saying.

The collapse of the latest Syria ceasefire has heightened the possibility that Gulf states might arm Syrian rebels with man-portable air defence systems, or MANPADS, to defend themselves against Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Bogdanov also said that the U.S. claims that Russia strikes the opposition during its air strikes in Syria are "unsubstantiated".

Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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