MOSCOW, October 24 (Itar-Tass) — The Syrian militants are armed with portable air defence systems produced in other countries, including the United States, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Gen. Nikolai Makarov told reporters on Wednesday.
“The General Staff has the information that the militants, which are fighting against the Syrian governmental troops, are armed with the portable air defence systems of various countries, including Stinger of US production,” he underlined.
Commenting on some media reports that Obama’s administration gave instructions to pass a batch of the portable air defence systems to the formations of the Syrian unappeasable opposition, Makarov said, “The US denies this fact, they say that they did not deliver anything to them (Syrian militants). However, we have the reliable information that Syrian militants are armed with foreign portable air defence systems, including US air defence systems.” “It is needed to find who supplied it to them,” the chief of the Russian General Staff said. “For this purpose all types of transport can be used, including the civil airlines,” he said.
On October 17, a Syrian source stated that the US allegedly decided to pass to Syrian militants a batch of portable air defence systems. “President Barack Obama, who was speaking not quite well at the first round of the debates compared with his rival Mitt Romney, prepared a ‘strong’ card. He gave instructions to pass the air defence systems to the formations of the Syrian unappeasable opposition,” he told journalists.
However, the US did not confirm the reliability of this information. Spokesperson of the US State Department Victoria Nuland stated on October 18 that she cannot confirm anything like that.
Under the OSCE Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the twenty-first century approved in Maastricht in 2003 the organization uses all available instruments for the counteraction to the proliferation of the air defence systems.
According to the decision taken at the OSCE forum for security cooperation number 3/04 in May 2004 and approved by the OSCE Council of Ministers at the end of the same year, the OSCE states, including the US, committed to contribute to the use of efficient and comprehensive mechanisms of the export control for the portable air defence systems. In particular, the export supplies of the portable air defence systems only to the governments of other countries or the agents, which are empowered concretely to act on behalf of the government, are permitted. The violation of the principles of the decision comes under the effect of the penalty sanctions, including those related with criminal persecution.