Russia is supplying weapons to Damascus under contracts signed since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, as well as under earlier deals, President Bashar al-Assad said.

Assad’s comments, in an interview published by Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday, appeared to contradict Moscow’s line that any Russian arms supplies to Damascus were agreed before the conflict began.

“There are contracts that had been sealed before the crisis started and were carried out during the crisis. There are other agreements on arms supplies and cooperation that were signed during the crisis and are being carried out now,” Assad said. […]