Moscow cautions against smuggling arms into Syria
Smuggling arms into Syria, particularly when elements linked to international terrorism are becoming more active there, is inadmissible, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Monday.
"Moscow has repeatedly pointed out that that arms smuggling into Syria is inadmissible. We have warned those who had such ideas of the consequences of such actions. This is particularly dangerous because elements linked to international terrorist and extremist networks are becoming more active in Syria," the statement says.
There have been reports both in Russian and foreign media of arms deliveries to the Syrian opposition via third countries, including Libya, Turkey and Lebanon, which are financed by a number of Persian Gulf countries.
A Swiss TV channel has recently shown Syrian opposition militants using hand grenades produced in Switzerland. They also use anti-tank grenade launchers and portable anti-aircraft systems that were reportedly brought from Libya, the ministry says.
According to the British Sunday Times newspaper, arms have been streaming into Syria through the Lebanese border as well.
"Earlier, we raised the issue of Libya at the UN Security Council's Committee on Sanctions, calling for an investigation into the Lutfulla-2 vessel carrying a batch of arms for Syrian rebels, which was intercepted by the Lebanese Navy in the territorial waters of Lebanon. There were several containers with small arms, grenade launchers identical to those used by rebels in Libya, and a large amount of explosives," the statement says.
[Source: Interfax, Moscow, 20Aug12]
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