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Russian diplomat warns against supplying air defense systems to Syrian militants

The Russian Foreign Ministry has noted the words by some Syrian oppositionists, who demanded that their regional sponsors supply air defense systems to armed extremists

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia will not allow anyone to jeopardize the lives of its servicemen in Syria, and hopes regional sponsors of Syrian oppositionists will not respond to the call to supply air defense systems to them, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

"We noted the words by some Syrian oppositionists, who demanded that their regional sponsors supply air defense systems to armed extremists."

"We hope our regional and other partners will have enough common sense not to respond to such calls," she emphasized.

"Anyway, it’s necessary to say that Russia will not allow anyone to put in jeopardy the lives of its citizens, including servicemen. Any unfriendly actions regarding Russia will not be left without consequences," Zakharova said. 

Possible sanctions against Russia over Syria

The spokeswoman has stressed that Moscow would adopt reciprocal measures should the European Union impose any kind of sanctions against Russia "for its role in deterioration of the situation" in Syria.

"Certainly, if all that is expressed in a specific way, there’ll be reaction," Zakharova has warned. 

"We have more than once gone through adoption of sanctions, their extension and expansion of both sanctions and sanctions lists."

"Over the past two-plus years, international relations have made an incredible breakthrough in all aspects of the sanctions policy," she said.

"Not ecology or anything else, but it is the sanctions policy that has reached some incredible heights. Many people possibly believe that it is time now to deal with the sanctions, and all the rest is unimportant," Zakharova said.

"We may respond to this… in an ironic way: the main thing is for them not to get confused, because we keep hearing voices here and there that the old sanctions need to be canceled," the diplomat said. "Not because they began to like Russia but because the sanctions directly harm the economy of the countries that signed them."

"Now the talk is underway about new sanctions," Zakharova said. "In parallel, processes are underway in various bilateral, multilateral formats, in particular, on the Syrian settlement."

"A strange, illogical, dependent position displayed by countries, which inflicts damage upon themselves - this is all I can say as of now, taking into account that conversations on the topic have appeared again," she said.

Propagandistic smokescreen over Aleppo

According to Zakharova, western hysteria over the situation in the east of Aleppo plays into the terrorists’ hands.

"The propagandistic smokescreen the western sponsors have put up by fanning hysteria over the situation in the eastern quarters of Aleppo plays into the terrorists’ hands," Zakharova said. "Not because the situation there is simple, clear and close to a solution, but because it remains complicated and is presented by the Western media in a distorted fashion." 

Elimination of terrorism in Syria is directly connected with tasks of consolidation of the  government forces and constructive opposition, Zakharova reiterated: 

"Effective elimination of the terrorism hotbed in Syria is directly linked to issues of consolidation of the actions of the Syrian government and all constructive forces of the Syrian external and domestic opposition that speak for an independent, sovereign and renewed Syria," Zakharova said. 

Terrorist groups in Syria’s Aleppo are clashing with each other for foreign sponsors’ financial aid, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told reporters during her weekly briefing: 

"Cases of clashes between terrorists over the distribution of financial aid and struggle for power have been registered." In particular, the Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa groups are allegedly fighting with each other.