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Russia says Syrian opposition has foreign-made air-defense weapons

(Xinhua)

08:56, October 25, 2012

MOSCOW, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Verified information shows that Syria's opposition has acquired portable air-defense systems produced abroad, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said Wednesday.

"The General Staff has information that armed rebels fighting against Syrian government forces have man-portable air-defense systems (Manpads) made in various countries, including the U.S.-made Stingers," Makarov told reporters.

It is necessary to investigate who has supplied these weapons, said the military chief.

"Although the Americans denied delivering anything (lethal) to the rebels, we have reliable evidence," he added.

"This is a serious business," Makarov said.

The weapons and ammunition for the Syrian opposition could be delivered by various means of transportation, including commercial airlines, according to the Russian General Staff.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said arming Syrian rebels with such dangerous weapons as Manpads, or sanctioning such actions, would be a most dangerous act.

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