US to give $130m in military aid to Syria opposition: US official

File photo shows a foreign-backed militant firing towards Syrian government forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

 

The United States is set to give the militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad up to USD 130 million in military supplies, officials say.

A senior US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that the US Secretary of State John Kerry will elaborate on the details of the US aid to Syria opposition during the meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The meeting will take place later in the day and the leading members of the so-called Friends of Syria group including the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will attend the gathering.

The official also added that the military supplies include body armor, armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communication equipment.

On Thursday, Kerry said the US would continue to aid the militants trying to overthrow the Syrian government, adding “We are working very, very closely with the Syrian opposition.” Continue reading

US assists, funnels arms to Syrian insurgents: Russia

Insurgent fires towards an army position in Karm al-Jabal district of the northern city of Aleppo on October 22, 2012. (File photo)

Russia says the United States assists and coordinates arms deliveries to foreign-sponsored insurgents battling the Syrian government forces.

“Washington is aware of the deliveries of various weapons to illegal armed groups active in Syria. Moreover, judging by the declarations of US officials published in US media, the US coordinates and provides logistical assistance in such deliveries,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Russia’s chief military officer said that Syrian armed groups have acquired US-made weapons, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

General Nikolai Makarov said it was not clear who had delivered the arms.

“We have information that the rebels fighting the Syrian army have shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles of several states, including Stingers made in the United States,” he said.

“We need to still find out who has delivered them,” General Makarov noted.  Continue reading