04:31 GMT29 September 2020
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    Lifting restrictions on military aid in Syria is worth the risk if the United States can implement a rigorous vetting process to prevent weapons from falling into terrorists’ hands, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Steven Bucci told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed a determination waiving legal restrictions on US provision of defense articles to forces fighting against Daesh in Syria.

    "If ISIS [Daesh] is to be defeated, this level of risk must be taken, albeit only after robust vetting of the recipients," Bucci said on Friday.

    Bucci argued that there is always a risk of military equipment provided in unsettled fights like Syria falling into the wrong hands.

    "The only way to completely avoid such risks is to not engage at all," Bucci claimed. "That is a poor option in this case."

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Friday that man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) could fall into the hands of terrorists in the wake of Obama’s decision to ease limits on military support in Syria.

    A US government administration official told Sputnik on Thursday that Obama lifted restrictions on arming US partners to facilitate the offensive to retake the city of Raqqa from Daesh.

    Bucci, a former Green Beret commander, was a military assistant to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from 2001 to 2005. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities from 2007-2008.


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