Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has directly accused the US of supplying arms to Syrian rebels against international law. The statement followed a charge by the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton who said Russia was sending to Syria “attack helicopters … which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.” Lavrov added that Russia was supplying anti-air defense systems to Damascus under a deal that complies with international law.
Russia is also organizing an international conference on Syria that would include all major stakeholders, including Iran. The United States, Britain and France have objected to Iran’s participation in the conference. On the other hand, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that western and Arab nations are sending weapons and forces to Syria to impede reforms promised by Assad.
As blame game on who is supplying arms to Syria heats up, there is real danger of the crisis turning into a proxy war, with NATO, Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting the Syrian rebels while Russia and Iran aiding the government forces.