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Russia denies supplying Syria with offensive weapons


MOSCOW, (Xinhua): Russia did not supply Syria with offensive weapons, a high-ranking Russian military official said Monday.

"As for Syria, as far as we understand, there are no decisions to ban supply of defensive weapons to that country. Russia doesn't supply that country with the offensive weapons," Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters.

Meanwhile, the official denied media reports that Russia has sent "special task units" or air defense systems operators to Syria.

"I don't know what these reports are based on," he said.

As for the cruises of Russian naval ships, Antonov said they were performing missions in "various parts of the globe," but not carrying Russian officers to Syria.

In November, head of Russia's Presidential Administration Sergei Ivanov said Moscow was not delivering "destabilizing weapons" to Syria.

Also on Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Russia was ready to evacuate its citizens from Syria if needed.

"It is common knowledge that there are contingency plans in case of emergency in different countries," he said.

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