US and Russia in row over Syria weapons

Hillary
Hillary Clinton has criticised Russia for suppying arms to Syria Photo: PA

The United States and Russia became embroiled in a furious diplomatic row after both sides accused each other of supplying arms to Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today accused the US of supplying arms to Syrian rebels to help fight the government.

The accusal came in response to Hillary Clinton's comments yesterday that Russia's continued arms supply to Syria is 'escalating' violence within the country.

US Secretary of State Clinton denied the claims and warned Russia that its stance over the crisis in Syria would put its Middle East interests "at risk".

She urged the Russians to "move more constructively" and back UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan for the country.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Syria was in a state of civil war.

Fabius told reporters at a Paris news conference that "if you can't call it a civil war, then there are no words to describe it".

He said Syria's president Bashar Assad should cede power to the opposition.

The minister's comments echo those made by the UN's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous yesterday.

"Every day dozens and dozens of Syrians are dying at the hands of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"We have therefore decided to strengthen our efforts to stop this regime of death and blood."

– Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister