- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Russia halts sales of new weapons to Syria
Question of the Day
MOSCOW — Russia on Monday signaled that it would not sign new weapons contracts with Syria until the situation there calms down.
Russia will continue with previously agreed exports, but will not be selling new arms to Syria, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy chief of the Russian military and technical cooperation agency, told Russian news agencies on the sidelines of the Farnborough air show southwest of London.
Putting it in conflict with the West, Russia has blocked the U.N.'s Security Council from taking strong, punitive action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and is seen as Syria's key arms supplier. Syrian activists say about 14,000 people have been killed in the uprising that began March 2011.
Russia has been providing Syria's army with spare parts and repairing weapons supplied earlier, Dzirkaln said. He insisted that Russia does not sell helicopters or fighter planes to Syria.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday said he welcomes the decision, but added that Britain "would like to see a halt of all deliveries of weaponry to a regime that has embarked on the killing of so many of its own people."
U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Washington saw the Russian statement as a good sign but was still seeking further clarification.
"We have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Russian government at a variety of levels," Ventrell told reporters. " We've expressed our belief that continued arms sales to the regime will only further throw flames on the fire, so we want them to stop all arms transfers, not only existing contracts but any new contracts as well."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last month issued a harsh reprimand to Russia, saying that Moscow "dramatically" escalated the crisis in Syria by sending attack helicopters there. The State Department acknowledged later that the helicopters were actually refurbished ones already owned by the Syrian regime.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Monday said that Russia is still committed to a peace plan by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, saying that the Syrian government and opposition groups should be "forced" to start a dialogue.
Annan's six-point peace plan was to begin with a cease-fire in mid-April between government forces and rebels seeking to topple Assad, to be followed by political dialogue. But the truce never took hold, and almost 300 U.N. observers sent to monitor the cease-fire are now confined to their hotels because of the escalating violence.
Hague on Monday called on Russia to show "a strong commitment to secure the implementation and mandate the implementation of what Kofi Annan has put forward."
• Mike Corder in The Hague, Matthew Lee in Washington and Mansur Mirovalev and Laura Mills in Moscow contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq