BELGRADE – Russia has warned that any threat against its forces in Syria will not go unanswered after a foreign-backed opposition group requested for anti-aircraft arms.

“In any case I should say that Russia will not allow anyone to threaten life of its citizens, including servicemen. Any unfriendly actions towards Russia will not be left without consequences,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

On Monday, Syria’s main opposition bloc, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), called on its foreign sponsors to supply militants with man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS).

HNC spokesman Salem al-Meslet said that the group was relying on “brotherly countries and friends … to lift the embargo on sophisticated weapons imposed on the opposition.”

Touching on the issue, Zakharova expressed hope that foreign supporters of the Syria opposition “have enough common sense not to react to such demands.”