Panetta: US not supplying Stinger missiles to Syrian rebels

By REUTERS
October 24, 2012 18:40

 
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WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday he had no knowledge of the United States supplying Stinger missiles to Syrian rebel forces, after Moscow said the rebels had acquired the US-made surface-to-air missiles.

Asked about reports that the rebels had such weapons, Panetta declined comment, saying: "I don't know what the reports are - and I certainly don't know of us providing any such missiles in that area."

Russia's top military officer, general staff chief Nikolai Makarov, said Russia's military had learned that rebel forces "have portable missile launchers of various states, including American-made Stingers."

Stinger missiles would help bring down warplanes and helicopters which have bombed residential areas where rebels are hiding.

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