Monday Jun 24, 201312:49 PM GMT
Russia warns US, EU against arming Syria rebels
Foreign-backed militants in Syria (file photo)
Foreign-backed militants in Syria (file photo)
Russia warns the United States, the European Union and their regional allies against supplying more weapons to insurgents fighting against Syrian government.


In a statement on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed serious concern over the consequences of sending further arms to militant groups fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The statement said the move will hamper efforts aimed at finding a swift political solution to the crisis that has gripped the Arab country for more than two years.

The statement was issued after the weekend meeting of the so-called ''Friends of Syria'' in Doha, Qatar in which the participants agreed to provide urgent military support to insurgents in Syria.

"Such statements from Doha cannot but provoke serious concerns," Moscow said, adding that arms could end up in the hands of "terrorists" and "encourage the opposition towards a destructive military solution for Syria."

The meeting came as the US said it would provide the foreign-backed militants with "direct military aid."

On Friday, the militants announced that they had received new weapons that could lead to "changes" in war against the Syrian government.

Unrest has gripped Syria since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

The Syrian government maintains that the chaos in the country is being orchestrated from outside and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

PG/SS
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