Russian aid flights to Syria carry military equipment
11 Septembar 2015, Nirapad News: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has confirmed that the country’s ‘humanitarian’ flights to Syria carry military equipment as well as humanitarian aid – after the US and NATO warned Moscow over its involvement in the Syrian conflict.
‘Russian planes are sending to Syria both military equipment in accordance with current contracts and humanitarian aid,’ Lavrov told reporters on Thursday, reports Al Jazeera.
Russia’s Kommersant daily newspaper said earlier on Thursday that Moscow’s advanced BTR-82A armored personnel carriers were among arms supplied to Damascus.
Moscow has previously insisted in public that its flights to Syria were only for humanitarian purposes.
The Kremlin declined to comment on Thursday on whether Russian troops were fighting in Syria, after sources in Lebanon told the Reuters news agency that Russian forces had begun participating in military operations there.
‘The threat coming from Islamic State (IS) is evident… The only force capable of resisting it is the Syrian armed forces,’ said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, reiterating Russia’s position that its longtime ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, should be part of international efforts to combat IS.
Washington has put pressure on Greece and Bulgaria in recent days to deny Russia’s requests to use their airspace for its Syria flights.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his concern over reports of Russian military activities in Syria, warning that it could fan more violence, a state department spokesman said.