Russia warns US, EU on arming Syria militants

Russia warns US, EU on arming Syria militants
Tue Jun 18, 2013 22:23:32

Russia has warned the United States and the European Union against their decision to supply arms to extremists in Syria, calling on them to reconsider the move.

On Tuesday, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland that the West must consider the consequences of supplying weapons to anti-Syria militants, saying the move would be a major blow to the chances for peace.

US President Barack Obama ordered his administration on June 14 to provide the militants with weapons, a day after the US claimed that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the militants and thus crossed Washington’s “red line”.

Damascus has rejected the allegation as “lies.”

Also on May 27, EU foreign ministers agreed, after lengthy talks among divided ministers in Brussels, to lift the arms embargo on the militants in Syria. France and Britain were the proponents of the move.

The Russian diplomat further dismissed “groundless” Western claims that the Syrian forces have used chemical weapons in their fight against Takfiri extremists, saying that a new investigation is needed to determine the validity of such claims.

“We cannot agree to biased interpretations and groundless claims that the government of Syria has used chemical weapons,” Ryabkov said.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed so far.

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