Russia sends arms to Syria to fight terror: Official
Iran Press TV
Sep 7, 2015 2:5PM
Russia has confirmed its arms deliveries to Syria, noting that the move aims to assist the Arab country in its fight against terrorism.
"The Russian side has never concealed the fact that it is sending military equipment to the Syrian authorities to help them fight terrorism," AFP quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.
Zakharova said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry in a recent phone conversation that it is "premature" to speak about Moscow’s military participation in Syria.
The announcement comes as a Syrian military official has told Reuters that Russia’s military support for Syria, including new weapons and training, has recently seen a "big shift.”
“Our ties are always developing but in these days a qualitative shift has happened. We call it a qualitative shift in Arabic, which means big,” the unnamed Syrian official said.
No change in Russia’s stance
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected as "falsifications and fabrications" media reports it is changing its position on the crisis in Syria or on the future of President Assad.
“We don't appoint or dismiss foreign presidents, neither on our own or in cahoots with anyone else," the ministry said in a Monday statement.
The US has expressed concern over reports of Russia’s increased involvement in Syria, with American media saying Russia has sent a military team to Syria.
Moscow and Washington have had major differences over the crisis in Syria. The Kremlin lends support to Damascus in its fight against Takfiri terrorists groups, whereas the White House wants to see President Bashar al-Assad toppled.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has reportedly claimed more than 240,000 lives up until now.
The violence has also forced over four million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced within Syria, according to the United Nations.
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