News / Middle East

US Denies Russian Allegation of Military Supplies to Syrian Rebels

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)
x
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)
The United States is denying a Russian allegation that it is helping supply weapons to rebels fighting embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow says the Obama administration is aware of the delivery of various weapons to armed groups active in the Syrian conflict.  In a written statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry says, "judging by the declarations of U.S. officials published in U.S. media, the U.S. coordinates and provides logistical assistance in such deliveries."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that is not true.

"This notion that we are coordinating the military assistance of other countries is ludicrous," Nuland said.

The United States does provide what it says is non-lethal assistance to President Assad's opponents, including communications equipment.  Other countries in the so-called "Friends of Syria" group are giving weapons.  Nuland says Washington is coordinating with those allies to ensure that those supplies go to groups that support a democratic future for Syria.

"We are working together to try to understand who's who on the ground in the opposition to ensure that none of us - whether we're supporting on the non-lethal side or making another choice - are inadvertently aiding and abetting extremists.  This is something that we are extremely careful about," Nuland said.

Russia continues to supply arms to President Assad and has been critical of countries backing his opponents.  Russia and China have vetoed three United Nations Security Council resolutions that would have sanctioned President Assad if he failed to follow through on a political power-sharing plan.

Syria's government is promising to observe a four-day cease-fire starting Friday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.  In an announcement read on state television late Thursday, the military says it will act if "terrorist groups [are] trying to reinforce their positions by arming themselves and getting reinforcements."

A commander for the rebel Free Syrian Army said his fighters will commit to the truce, but respond to any attacks.

U.N. and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says he hopes this will lead to a longer cease-fire and negotiations between the sides.

Nuland says any day in Syria without violence is progress, and that the United States will be watching events closely.  But she says President Assad's government is good at making promises and not as good at following through.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid