Bildt warns of ‘arms race’ in war-torn Syria

Bildt warns of 'arms race' in war-torn Syria
The US promise of military aid to rebel forces in Syria could have serious humanitarian consequences, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said Friday.

“I don’t think the way forward is to get an arms race going in Syria. There’s a risk that that would undermine the conditions for a political process,” Bildt told news agency TT.

Washington on Thursday dramatically toughened its line on Syria, accusing it of using chemical weapons and pledging military aid to rebel forces.

Bildt said he feared a scenario where the US provided the rebels with weapons on one side, while Russia supported the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on the other.

“There’s no doubt that that would be very serious and have even more serious humanitarian consequences,” Bildt said.

Bildt would prefer to see an international weapons embargo on Syria, TT reported.

US officials did not specify what type of military support Washington was considering, but US media reports said they included a limited no-fly zone over rebel training camps, as well as small arms, ammunition and anti-tank weapons.

Syria has meanwhile dismissed the US accusation of chemical weapons use as “a statement full of lies.”

AFP/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

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