Moscow accused the U.S. Tuesday of a “hostile act” for taking action to more easily arm the Syrian rebels, Reuters reported Russia Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.
The U.S. decided to loosen rules on arming Syrian rebels, which resulted in allowing for distributions of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, a move Moscow claimed would directly endanger Russian forces in Syria. The easing of the restrictions came out of a measure from the recently passed defense-spending bill which President Obama signed last week.
Russia began its air campaign in Syria last year as an effort to assist President Bashar al-Assad and his military take back land lost to rebels. Some of the rebels have support from the U.S.
“Washington has placed its bets on supplying military aid to anti-government forces who don’t differ than much from blood thirsty head choppers. Now, the possibility of supplying them with weapons, including mobile anti-aircraft complexes, has been written into this new bill,” Zakharova said in a statement.