U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel perked up some ears at today’s House Foreign Affairs hearing on Syria with a brief exchange in which he said Russia had supplied chemical weapons to Syria.
It all happened in an exchange with Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during which Hagel said it’s no secret that the Assad regime has significant stockpiles of chemical weapons.
When Wilson asked where they’d come from, Hagel said, “Well, the Russians supply them. Others are supplying them with those chemical weapons. They make some themselves.”
After the hearing had concluded, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little issued a clarification, explaining that Hagel was referring to the “well-known conventional arms relationship between Syria and Russia.”
He also pointed out that Syria has had a “decades-old largely indigenous chemical weapons program.”
He added that some Russian military equipment and support can be modified to support Syria’s chemical weapons program. . .