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Russia worried by Saudi’s plan for Syria militants

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A militant fires towards government forces during clashes in Sheikh Najar area of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Russia has raised concerns about Saudi Arabia’s plans to provide the militants in Syria with advanced arms.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it is worried about reports that Riyadh is seeking to arm the foreign-backed militants in Syria with man-portable air defense systems (MPADS).

Reports say Riyadh is in talks with Pakistan to buy anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons for the militants.

“We are seriously concerned about the mass media reports citing gulfnews.com and saying that Saudi Arabia is willing to provide the Syrian opposition with MPADS and anti-tank systems made in Pakistan,” the statement said.

It warned that such deals are meant to tip the balance of power in favor of the militants.

“This deal will change the balance of power in favor of Syrian opposition militants who began their attacks on Damascus last spring from the southern territories,” the statement added.

It also noted that this would provide the armed extremist groups with better military capability in their planned attack on the capital Damascus in spring.

“If this sensitive weapon falls into the hands of extremists and terrorists who have flooded Syria, there is a great probability that in the end it will be used far from the borders of this Middle Eastern country,” the statement emphasized.

Saudi Arabia has been the main supplier of weapons and funds to the militants inside Syria.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.


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