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Published On: Wed, Oct 24th, 2012

Russia confirms Syrians have US Stinger missiles, Pentagon is quick deny claims

Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are now armed with man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) including US-made Stingers, Russia’s top military commander said on Wednesday.

Syrian rebel fighter with missile launcher. Original subtitle in arabic, translated to: Photo of Sracb under bombardment and military address field free and Hospitals May photo/Freedom House via Flickr public domain

Russia has “reliable evidence” that the rebels have the weapons, “including US-made Stingers,” but “who delivered them, we need to look into,” Army Headquarters General Nikolai Makarov said.

NBC news reported in August the rebels had been supplied with unspecified MANPADS, possibly initiated by Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Qatar which have repeatedly called for lending military support to the Syrian opposition.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she could not confirm whether the rebels had been supplied with such missiles, and maintained the United States was against the uncontrolled spread of MANPADS.

“We have already made it clear how much we are concerned about the treatment of this type of weapons around the world. We work with governments trying to withdraw MANPADS from circulation,” she said on October 16.

The recent NY Times article revealed details of how weapons are moving through Turkey to enter Syria.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday he had no knowledge of the United States supplying Stinger missiles to Syrian rebel forces, after Moscow said the rebels had acquired the U.S.-made surface-to-air missiles.

Asked about reports that the rebels had such weapons, Panetta declined comment, saying: “I don’t know what the reports are – and I certainly don’t know of us providing any such missiles in that area.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. US sent Stinger missiles to Turkey and Egypt, which are now part of increasing tensions with Israel - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] accused the US of sending Stinger Missiles into Syria, assisting the rebels with the removal of Bashar […]

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