The State Department on Wednesday unequivocally rejected Russia's accusation that the U.S. is arming the Syrian opposition, saying American support comes strictly in the form of "nonlethal" aid.
"We do NOT -- repeat NOT -- provide arms to anyone in Syria," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in an email to FoxNews.com.
The rapid-fire diplomatic battle between the two countries is quickly escalating as the U.S. tries to pressure Russia to pull back on its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad amid worsening violence inside Syria. Both U.N. and French officials are now describing that conflict as civil war.
Russia and the U.S. are effectively accusing each other of contributing to the violence.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused Russia of providing attack helicopters to Assad's regime.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended his country's aid, saying Russia is not violating any international law. And, according to an account from Reuters, Lavrov said: "They (the United States) are providing arms and weapons to the Syrian opposition that can be used in fighting against the Damascus government."
The State Department denied the charge.
Toner told FoxNews.com that the U.S. has been "crystal clear on this point." He said the U.S. provides $52 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people t... >>>