Russia sending attack helicopter shipment to Syria, Hillary Clinton says

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Tuesday that Russia is sending a shipment of attack helicopters to Syria, warning that the conflict there could escalate without a regime change.

"We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria," Clinton said, echoing remarks she made last week calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to be removed from power.

The United States and United Nations are attempting to put pressure on Russia and China to help end the 15-month conflict that has left more than 13,000 Syrians dead. Russia has refused to cooperate.

"We are watching this very carefully," Clinton said.

[Slideshow: Crisis in Syria]

But with diplomacy "at a standstill," the Associated Press noted, "the reported shipment of helicopters suggests a dangerous new turn for Syria after more than a year of harsh government crackdowns on mainly peaceful protests and the emergence of an increasingly organized armed insurgency." (more...)