June 18, 2013 / 3:33 PM / 4 years ago

Putin says sending arms to Syria rebels will backfire

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told the West on Tuesday that sending weapons to Syrian rebels could backfire one day but defended Russia's own military contacts with the Syrian government.

Striking a defiant tone after two days of talks at a G8 summit, Putin said he could not rule out new arms contracts with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He warned that arms sent to Syrian rebels however could one day end up being used in Europe.

Writing by Maria Golovnina; editing by Kate Holton

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