US cannot guarantee arms supplies to Syria won't fall into Daesh hands
Iran Press TV
Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:48PM
The United States cannot guarantee that the weapons it sends to militants in Syria will not end up in the hands of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, says the State Department.
When asked if the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama is able to guarantee the weapons being sent to Syria will not fall into the hands of the terrorists, the department's spokesman Mark Toner said it would be "difficult" for anyone to say that "with complete confidence."
"I'm never going to be able to say on any given battlefield – and we've talked about this before – that equipment assistance can't change hands, but we haven't seen it recently," Toner said. "So for anyone to be able to say with complete confidence that any equipment or assistance isn't changing hands from the battlefield or wherever is difficult to do it at best."
He made the remarks shortly after Obama lifted restrictions on providing military aid for both foreign forces and the so-called "moderate" militants, who supposedly are fighting the Daesh terrorist group.
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, said those weapons would eventually fall into the hands of "terrorists, which of course poses a serious threat not only to the region, but to the entire world."
Dmitry Peskov said that lifting the restrictions "definitely" poses a threat to the Russian Air Force, which has been backing Syrian troops in fighting against the terrorists.
Russia has placed some of its most sophisticated air defense systems in Syria to defend its aircraft during its months-long campaign against Daesh and other Takfiri militants.
Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof also warned that the militants "whom we cannot identify, are going to be getting some very sophisticated weapons… which can knock down Russian and Syrian aircraft."
Last year, Amnesty International reported that Daesh had developed a substantial lethal arsenal from US-made weapons and equipment they had captured from the Iraqi military and fighters.
The US and some of its Arab allies began their alleged anti-Daesh campaign in Syria in September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has also been providing the terrorists with military training. It began its covert operation in 2013 to arm, fund and train militants, many of whom later joined the Daesh Takfiri group, to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
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