1. Defensive

    Russia Denies Giving Syria Choppers

    Syrian Army MI 18 helicopters with national flags fly over the demonstrators during a rally to support President Bashar al-Assad on the first anniversary of the anti-regime revolt in Damascus on March 15, 2012. State television showed tens of thousands of people waving Syrian flags and Assad's portrait in squares in Damascus, the northern city of Aleppo, Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, Suweida to the south and Hasaka in the northeast.  AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Louai Beshara, AFP / Getty Images

    Russia responded Friday to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's charges that Moscow was sending new attack helicopters to Syria, denying that any arms deal goes beyond "defensive" technology. "There are no new deliveries of Russian military helicopters to Syria," the Foreign Ministry said on its website. Clinton said Washington had information that choppers were on their way to Damascus, but the ministry said there were only "previously planned repairs of military equipment delivered to Syria many years ago." NBC News reported that U.S. military officials said Friday that ships carrying Russian troops were on their way to Syria to guard the country's interests there.

    Read it at Associated Press