Authors: Jeanette Torres
(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration has accused Moscow of providing attack helicopters to Syria to battle opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
In a fiery denouncement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a think-tank in Washington on Tuesday, "We are concerned by the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."
If the reports turn out to be true, this would bolster Clinton's earlier assertion that Russia has been "propping up" al-Assad's government while at the same time, claiming to help find a peaceful solution to the crisis entering its 16th month.
Even as the Pentagon could not confirm the State Department's information, Clinton told the Brookings Institute, "There's no doubt that the onslaught continues, the use of heavy artillery and the like. We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria."
America's top envoy expressed doubt about Russia's intentions in the conflict, saying, "They have from time to time said that we shouldn't worry, that everything they're shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That's patently untrue."
Later, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Clinton is "concerned about helicopters on the way. That's a different matter than whether there are already Soviet-made helicopters or Russian-made helicopters that are being used by the regime."
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