Russia May Not Actually Be Sending New Copters to Syria

Officials say Clinton was likely referring to repaired helicopters
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2012 7:05 AM CDT
Russia May Not Actually Be Sending New Copters to Syria
Hillary Clinton answers questions from the press during a press conference with her Indian counterpart at the State Department in Washington, DC June 13, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Jim Watson   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton came out swinging against Russia Tuesday, accusing it of sending attack helicopters to the Syrian government, but US officials tell the New York Times the helicopters in question might not actually be new shipments. More likely, they are being returned to Syria after Syria sent them to Russia to be repaired and refurbished, administration officials say. "She put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position," one notes.

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A spokesperson for Russia's weapons export business also confirmed the country is not "speeding up contracts" or sending additional shipments to Syria, but continues to fulfill Syrian contracts and complete repairs. But Clinton's statement was part of an ongoing effort to pressure Russia to break its alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, officials say. Russia's foreign minister responded by denying Clinton's claim and accusing the US of hypocrisy, saying it "regularly supplies" weapons to other Arab countries. (Read more Russia stories.)

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