09:46 GMT +328 May 2017
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    Rebel-fighters monitor the sky holding a man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) in the Syrian village of Teir Maalah, on the northern outskirts of Homs, on April 20, 2016.

    US Decision on MANPADS Delivery to Syria 'Insane' - Russian Foreign Ministry

    © AFP 2017/ MAHMOUD TAHA
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    US President Obama's decision to cancel any obstacles to delivery of MANPADS to Syria is 'insane', Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during her weekly press briefing.

    In December 2016, US President Obama signed a determination waiving legal restrictions on US provision of defense articles to allies in Syria.

    Subsequently, the Kremlin warned on Friday that man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) could fall into the hands of terrorists in the wake of Obama's decision.

    "[The US], without solving any previous problems, decided to set their hands of Syria," Zakharova said. "It resulted in that, de-facto, in the last months the US administration did nothing apart from making an insane decision to deliver MANPADS there." 

    The civil war in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011. On September 30, 2015, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russia launched the aerial operation in Syria against the positions of Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) and Nusra Front (renamed into Jebhat Fatah ash-Sham in 2016) international terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and a number of other countries.

    A nationwide ceasefire in Syria was brokered by Russia and Turkey and later approved by the United Nations. The ceasefire deal in Syria has been in effect since December 30. The truce is expected to be followed by peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana later this month.

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    press conference, air defense systems (MANPADS), Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, Syria, Russia
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