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Subject US State Dept: "Serious Military Equipment" was Onboard Intercepted Syrian Plane. Prepping for Worst-Case Chem-Weapon Scenario
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Original Message Victoria Nuland
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
October 12, 2012

[link to www.state.gov]



State Dept Nuland: "We have no doubt that this was serious military equipment" on intercepted Syrian plane, Turkey

QUESTION: Has there been any more talk with Syria about this – sorry, with Turkey – about the Syrian plane that was stopped in Turkey, and any more information on whether there were, in fact, Russian weapons on that plane?

MS. NULAND: We've had a pretty comprehensive accounting from the Turkish side of precisely what they found. But I'm going to leave it to them to share in public what they found. I think Prime Minister Erdogan made some pretty definitive statements about that. We have no doubt that this was serious military equipment.

QUESTION: So you have raised this with the Russians?

MS. NULAND: We have been in contact with the Russians about it as well. As you know, we were pretty definitive publicly about our grave concern that this kind of activity continues, particularly by a Security Council member.

QUESTION: Right, understood. But yesterday you hadn't, but you weren't aware if you had yet spoken to the Russians about --

MS. NULAND: We have.

QUESTION: And where was that? Who was that? Do you know?

MS. NULAND: My understanding is we've talked to them both in Moscow and from here, but I know we've talked to them from here, but I'm not sure whether in that conversation this particular issue came up. But certainly in Moscow, it has.

QUESTION: What – well, then if it wasn't this issue, was there something else that – they were talking (inaudible)?

MS. NULAND: There was a conversation yesterday on the CTR issue, among other things. Yeah, please.

QUESTION: Just to make sure. Is that – is your understanding that it was – let's say military equipment coming from the government, or a private company taking it into Syria?

MS. NULAND: I'm going to let the Turks characterize exactly what they – where they think the stuff originated from, and where they think it was going.

QUESTION: You also said that this was very troubling because it came from a Security Council member.

MS. NULAND: Right.

QUESTION: Is that right?

MS. NULAND: Correct.

QUESTION: But in fact, there are no Security Council sanctions on Syria, are there?

MS. NULAND: There are no Security Council sanctions on Syria because Security Council members Russia and China continue to block those.

QUESTION: Right. But I mean, this isn't a violation of anything.

MS. NULAND: No. But everybody else on the Security Council is doing what it can unilaterally to ensure that the Assad regime is not getting support from the outside.

QUESTION: So, I mean, what – you're saying that the Russians did something wrong here?

MS. NULAND: We are saying, as we have been saying for almost a year now, that no responsible country ought to be aiding and abetting the war machine of the Assad regime.
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