Russia insisted Tuesday it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to war-torn Syria despite international criticism and a border-area attack killed three Lebanese soldiers, adding to growing fears of a wider conflict.
Israel warned it would act if the Russian delivery went ahead, and Syria’s top rebel commander gave Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement, a 24-hour ultimatum to stop fighting alongside regime forces.
The developments stoked tensions after the European Union decided to lift an embargo on weapons to Syria’s rebels, in a move the opposition reacted to with caution.
Syria’s regime joined its ally Russia in condemning the EU decision as an “obstruction” to peace efforts, while accusing the bloc of supporting and encouraging “terrorists”.
The United States said it supports the EU move as a show of “full support” for the rebels, despite its own refusal to provide arms it fears will end up in jihadist hands.