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Kremlin warns obtaining of US MANPADS by Syrian militants dangerous for Russian Air Force

December 09, 2016, 12:12 UTC+3
The Kremlin hopes Russia and US will reach an agreement on Syria
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MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Should militants in Syria lay hands on US-made portable anti-aircraft missiles, Russia’s aerospace group and other countries’ aircraft might be in danger.

"The worst outcome of this decision would be terrorists coming into possession of various types of armaments, including portable anti-aircraft rockets, including shoulder-launched missiles. This will run counter to international conventions on that score and pose a serious threat not only to this region," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Friday. "Should terrorists get the shoulder-launched missiles, all countries of the world might be in danger."

In particular, Peskov emphasized the risks that might emerge for the Russian aerospace group in Syria.

"It goes without saying," he replied when asked if Russian military planes might become more vulnerable. "True, there are certain means of protection. There are very advanced technologies. The pilots are to follow certain precautions in a situation like this. But the risks remain very high."

Peskov said the Kremlin believed it was essential to study the aims and details of the decision to ease the US weapons embargo for the Syrian opposition.

"It is essential to have a clear understanding of the main aim, to see the intentions and details of that decision (to ease the embargo)," he said.

According to earlier reports, the US Department of Defense might provide shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles for the so-called Syrian armed oppositio

Agreement on Syria

The Kremlin expects that Russia and the United States will reach an agreement on settling the crisis in Syria’s Aleppo, the withdrawal of civilians from the city and deliveries of humanitarian cargoes, but the talks are difficult now, Peskov said

"The Kremlin would like to hope for a chance of reaching such agreements. But as you know, the process is difficult, it resumes and then rolls back, and each time it rolls back not at our initiative," Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have earlier agreed that Russian and US military experts and diplomats will meet in Geneva on December 10 to discuss the situation in eastern Aleppo. They reached an agreement to continue talks on ceasefire and humanitarian aid to the citizens of Aleppo. Experts will also work out an issue of the militants’ withdrawal from Aleppo. 

 

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