Monday, March 20, 2023

Russia Says US Plans to Arm Militant Groups in Syria

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has accused the United States of planning to provide militant groups in Syria with fighting vehicles and missile systems in order to undermine the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) stated on Monday that the United States works on delivering dozens of fighting vehicles with machine guns to insurgent groups in Syria in an effort to undermine the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States plans to provide militant groups in Syria with dozens of fully equipped pickup trucks with large-caliber machine guns, as well as portable anti-aircraft missile systems such as the "Igla," anti-tank missiles such as the TOW and NLAW, ria Novosti reported, citing the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service's press office.

"SVR Director S.E. Naryshkin stated that the United States continues to use (so called) Islamist groups under its control in Syria to undermine the positions of the legitimate government of the country led by B. Assad," the statement said.

It is noted that Washington assigns a special role to the so-called "Free Syrian Army." The SVR called this formation a conglomerate of armed opposition Kurdish and Arab units operating in the center and northeast of the country.

"Through them, the Americans and their British allies work with the remaining underground formations of the ISIS (Daesh or ISIL) in remote areas of the country," the SVR explained.

As claimed, "the issue of arming ISIS fighters" is being resolved at the American military base in al-Tanf in the province of Homs.

"In the near future, several dozen fully equipped pickup trucks with large-caliber machine guns, as well as the Igla anti-aircraft missile system, TOW and NLAW anti-tank missile systems, are expected to be handed over to the forming groups," the statement said.

According to the SVR, the task of armed terrorists is to fuel hostilities in southwest Syria in the provinces of Suwayda and Daraa, as well as in the region to the east of the Euphrates River, in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. For this purpose, several squads with a total strength of up to 300 people are being formed.

After their training, as the service claims, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities belonging to the Syrian government and its allies.

"Some of the terrorists and their sponsors intend to use them in the capital region, including for the kidnapping of Russian and Iranian military personnel," the SVR added.

The report concluded that Washington making such plans "is a manifestation of state terrorism." Last week, Assad met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow to strengthen bilateral relations.

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