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    Free Syrian Army fighters carry a weapon during what they said was preparations for an operation to strike at forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad in order to break a siege on the city of Beit Gin located in western countryside of Damascus in Deraa, Syria September 30, 2015

    Despite Support, US Wants to Keep MANPADS Out of Syria Rebels Hands

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    Middle East
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    US State Department's focus is on deescalating the situation in Syria while continuing to provide support for local forces in Syria who are taking the fight to Daesh, including helping the moderate opposition, according to a State Department official.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — The United States is willing to continue helping the moderate Syrian opposition fight against the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh, banned in Russia), but does not want to see man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) being used in the region, a State Department official told Sputnik on Friday.

    On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported citing US officials that the CIA and its regional partners were preparing a Plan B for Syria that includes the delivery of various types of anti-aircraft weapons to the opposition.

    "Our focus now is on deescalating the situation in Syria while continuing to provide support for local forces in Syria who are taking the fight to ISIL, including helping the moderate opposition, who have achieved notable success against ISIL in and around Shaddadi, to continue to build on those gains. We would be very concerned about the presence of man-portable air-defense systems in a volatile environment like Syria," the official said.

    "Beyond that, I am not going to read out private conversations with partners or speculate on hypotheticals," he added.


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    U.S. Department of State, military assistance, Syrian crisis, Syria, United States
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