Nato concerned over possible Russian military buildup in Syria

NATO is worried that Russia may be shipping arms to Syria, boosting military support for the Assad regime. The Kremlin, meanwhile, has threatened consequences over Bulgaria’s decision to block its military flights.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his concern on Tuesday after reports emerged that Russia could be transporting military aid to Syria.

“Yes, I am concerned by reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria,” Stoltenberg said in a question and answer session on Facebook. “Any military support to the Assad regime could further escalate the conflict.”

Stoltenberg’s comments came a few hours after Bulgaria closed its airspace to Russian military planes bound for Syria, saying it had reason to believe the “declared cargo was not the real one.”

The Kremlin struck back, asking Bulgaria to explain why it had banned its aid flights to Sanaa and that it had never hidden the fact that it supplies military equipment to Syria to “fight terrorism.” A high-ranking Moscow official warned of reprisals.

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