Russia says arming militants in Syria by the United States will eventually create a catastrophe similar to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov made the remarks on Friday, adding that the possible deliveries of shoulder-fired missiles to militants in Syria would certainly jeopardize the prospects for peace in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.
“This would be an be absolutely counterproductive approach because ultimately these people, which have been trained and armed by the Americans, will do the same thing that was done in New York on September 11 (2001),” Russia’s RIA news agency further quoted Bogdanov (seen below) as saying.
The Russian official's remarks came a few days after media reports quoted unnamed US officials as saying that large numbers of man-portable missile systems, or MANPADS, could be delivered to militants in Syria through Washington’s Western and regional allies, particularly Persian Gulf Arab states and Turkey.
"The Saudis have always thought that the way to get the Russians to back off is what worked in Afghanistan 30 years ago – negating their air power (in Syria) by giving MANPADS to" the Takfiri militants, Reuters quoted one of the US officials as saying.
The September 11 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
Of the 19 hijackers that allegedly carried out the attacks, 15 had Saudi nationality and available evidence suggests that some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials. The Saudi government denies any links to the 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile, footage from a recently recaptured neighborhood in eastern Aleppo showed US-made ammunition that was delivered to the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham group, al-Qaeda's branch in Syria formerly known as al-Nusra Front. The video also showed graffiti left behind by the terror group.
The Syrian forces said in the video that they had also discovered a walkie-talkie device enabling the militants' direct communications with Turkish troops.
Aleppo has been divided between government forces in the west and the militants in the east since 2012.
A ceasefire, brokered by the US and Russia in Syria, expired on September 19 after being in place for only a week.
Damascus, however, refused to extend it after US-led air raids killed over 80 of its army forces and wounded some 100 others at a military base in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the truce.
Russia has criticized the US for not doing enough to rein in militants in Syria to protect the truce, saying continued violations of the ceasefire by militants made it “senseless” for the Syrian government to stick to the agreement.
The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to a UN estimate.