June 14th, 2012
08:56 AM ET

Russia: No new choppers for Syria

By Jill Dougherty

The Russian government is not sending new helicopters to Syria, but it refurbishes choppers it previously sold, a Russian official told CNN late Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said this week the United States had information that Russian helicopters were being shipped to Syria, where a fierce crackdown against a grass-roots anti-government movement has persisted for 15 months.

Clinton stood by her comments even as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied his country was sending any equipment that could be used against protesters.

"We are completing right now the implementation of contracts that were signed and paid for a long time ago," Lavrov said Wednesday after talks with his counterpart in Iran. "All these contracts concern exclusively anti-aircraft defense."

"Russia hasn't had a new contract in 20 years," the Russian official insisted to CNN on Thursday, providing further detail about Russia's dealings with Syria.

The Russian official, who asked not to be named because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, could not speak specifically about the helicopters Clinton mentioned.

The distinction between modern or overhauled helicopters is not relevant for the U.S. government.

"New or refurbished, they kill just as well," a senior administration official said Thursday.

Another U.S. official said the belief is that the equipment is fulfilling an existing contract and is on a ship en route to Syria. The official would not provide specifics on whether this was spare parts or fully assembled helicopters, though the official added that the U.S. knows "what type of helo" is being sent.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Sallie

    Thanks for including the attractive pictures– so vulnerable to a feeling of contemplation.

    November 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  2. magneticink

    ...send in the Rat Patrol...

    June 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  3. BLT

    To date: Helicopters in Syria are not the biggest tool of choice for ASSAD in the ongoing– dayly– reported –attacks–as seen in the media & news–on his own citizens–remember–things are not going peacefully and its not as if because ASSAD was not already"advised" to stop–

    ASSAD was asked to stop by a bunch of people already in the U.N.– politics seems to not be working– when politics fail that is when military intervention happens– military intervention continues until politics once again works–THAT IS HISTORY–

    lying to one another or kidding oneself does not stop war ANY WAY YOU CHOSE TO LOOK AT IT–getting into a war is EASY–getting out is real HARD because you need to use politics and since politics has already failed–EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE–

    ASSAD WAS ASKED TO STEP DOWN MONTHS AGO BY THE LEADER OF THE "FREE" WORLD–THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE–

    June 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  4. AlexShch

    The helicopter you see on the video above (when video is stopped, as well as the same helicopter appears is the middle of the video when rarator starts talking about Russia) is a US built Kaman K-MAX (K-1200) intermeshed-twin-rotor design built by Kaman Aircraft, a US company.

    I do not think that is has any relevance to the the current event in Syria, Russia, and Sec. Clinton mood.

    May be Kaman Aircraft Co contracted CNN to advertise it and CNN managers decided to include it into this video.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  5. BLT

    @ JOHNBIRD

    IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE THOSE HUMAN AID WORKERS VIEW FITS INTO A LARGER "NARITIVE" THAT A MAJORITY WITHIN THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCEL –FIVE PLUS ONE– HAVE STATED I.E. THE VIOLENCE OF ASSAD AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE MUST STOP

    June 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  6. BLT

    DEBATE IS WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN TO FACTIONS OF CONCERNING THE SAME ISSUE MADE UP OF TWO OR MORE SEPERATE POLITICAL PARTY OR EVEN FRIENDS WITHIN THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY BUT WITH SEPERATE "IDEAS" ABOUT A GIVEN TOPIC

    SEPERATE BUT EQIUL

    June 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  7. Johnbird

    A video of a six year-old Syrian girl being raped by five Shabbiha men (ASSad regime militia thugs) is among the pieces of footage a Syrian Irish human rights organization has but cannot release to media here, a joint Oireachtas committee was told today.

    Representatives of Syrian Irish Humanitarian Aid pleaded with members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs to call for international military intervention in their country, to stop mass human rights violations being perpetrated by the Bashar al-Assad regime

    June 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  8. BLT

    ITS CALLED DEBATE

    June 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • AlexShch

      Debates are OK if between competing candidates in an election.

      Debates between two branches of executive power are 100 times more entertaining because they are 100 times more embarrassing.

      I am sure that half of the Russian population watching this CNN page right now and having fun.

      June 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  9. BLT

    HILARY CLINTON IS THE SECRATARY OF STATE FOR THE U.S.

    THE POSITION IS NOT A POLITICAL POSITION

    IF YOU THINK THE U.S. IS WRONG PROVE IT SHOW THE FACTS

    RUSSIA IS ITS OWN COUNTRY WITH ITS OWN "LEADERS"

    IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT RUSSIA HAS TO DECIDE FOR ITSELF WHAT RUSSIA WILL DO JUST LIKE ANY OTHER COUNTRY ALL THINGS BEING "EQUIL"

    IF YOU THINK RUSSIA IS WRONG PROVE IT

    June 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  10. right

    LA rioters bombed in 1980s from "approved" helicopters but syria uses wrong ones, got it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States

    June 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  11. John

    The whole region is a gigantic mess.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  12. RG

    America manufactures bullets of every caliber, Land mines, missiles & bombs, and sells them to whoever has the money to buy them, including drug dealers and terrorists. I find it a little hypocritical to denounce Russians for selling Syria a couple helicopters. Most people in Syria are being killed by shells fired from fixed artillery. It would be interesting to find out who they purchased them from.

    June 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  13. george

    Hilary Clinton hasnt had any credibility since her lies about her corrupt futures dealing.

    June 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      Our country would be a better place if people like you discussed the issues at hand instead of playing partisan politics at every opportunity.

      June 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  14. George

    This article automatically assumes that Clinton has some kind of credibility. And that Russia has none. Privately owned but government controlled media is hilarious...

    June 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  15. George Patton

    These days, I find the Russians to be more credible than Hilary Clinton who is no more than a mouthpiece for the M.I.C.(military-industrial-complex) in Washington D.C. The right-wing bureaucrats in Washington lied to us so many times that one can no longer put any credence in anything they say anymore!!!

    June 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • Jean Ledoe

      You're not an American, so opinion means diddly squat.

      June 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • George

        And you give Americans like me the bad reputation of morons that we have today, go to Fox News where your kind of opinion matters...

        June 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • TJ

      I am guessing you were fired by a defense contractor. You are so uninformed that no one should ever put any credence in anything you say... EVER

      June 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
      • George

        Keep drinking that right-wing tea, It will only contributes to the demise of our Country and the end of a future for our kids... The MIC is what tax money supports, and is what contributes to kill innocent children over seas, and our Sons and Daughters here at home...

        June 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • tj

        Dont care if you are a Rep, Dem, or Ind, the M.I.C. is run and controlleed by civilians and elected civilian officials not the military.

        June 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  16. AlexShch

    ...So it boils down to a squabble between the State Department and the Pentagon. Sounds like purely internal US problem.

    June 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  17. tlc

    every male on both sides have been in the syrian military (manditory) using russian contract weapons–the only arms in syria on eather side are russian–cameras don't kill people people kill people using russian arms–in syria–

    June 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • AlexShch

      Actually not true. Virtually every AK-47 is Syria and elsewhere in middle east is either produced outside Russia or is at least 40 years old.

      Every type of AK, both 7.62 and 5.45mm versions, manufactured in Russia starting from mid 70s comes with distinct elongated flash suppressor as a standard feature, the same kind as what first appeared on AK-74 (a 5.45mm version of 47; 74 was never exported, but post 74 versions of 7.62mm were, however it appears as not to the Middle East). I never seen a single one such flash suppressor in Middle East. Most AK you see in the news is actually an AKM version from 1960x. It has stamped body with rivets and a distinct 45-degree cutoff at the end of the barrel (so called compensator). Russia did not produce them since the end of 1960s. Also you often see in the news versions of AKs with the third pistol grip in front of the magazine - these never been produced in Russia and most likely are of Egyptian, Iraqi, of Syrian own production.

      June 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  18. chris

    they're not just refurbishing old ones... they're selling entire refurbished helos.

    check the european sources, this one is flat wrong.

    June 14, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  19. tbd

    where are those choppers from

    June 14, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • AlexShch

      The helicopter you see on the video above when video is stopped (same helicopter appears is the middle of the video) is US built Kaman K-MAX (K-1200) intermeshed twin rotor helicopter built by Kaman Aircraft, a US company.
      I do not think that is has any relevance to the the current event in Syria. May be just company paid CNN to advertise it and CNN managers decided to include it into the video.

      June 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply

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