Pentagon walks back Hagel claim Russia gave Syria chemical weapons

“From a particular country?” Wilson asked.

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“Well, the Russians supply them, others are supplying them with chemical weapons. They make some themselves,” Hagel said.

Pentagon press secretary George Little issued a statement later Wednesday clarifying Hagel’s comments. Little said that the Defense secretary’s remarks were referring to “the well-known conventional arms relationship between Syria and Russia.”

“The Syrian regime has a decades-old largely indigenous chemical weapons program,” Little said.

“Currently, Russia provides the Syrian regime a wide variety of military equipment and support, some of which can be modified or otherwise used to support the chemical weapons program,” he said.

Hagel’s comments were quickly cited Wednesday by lawmakers who have bashed Russia’s support of Syria.

“Russian hypocrisy on CW issue clear,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) tweeted