"Administration officials declined to give details about the helicopters, saying the information was classified. But Pentagon sources suggested that Mrs. Clinton was referring to a Russian-made attack helicopter that Syria already owns but has not yet deployed to crack down on opposition forces. While these helicopters, known as Mi-24s, are flown by Syrian pilots, Russia supplies spare parts and provides maintenance for them. A Pentagon spokesman, Capt. John Kirby, said the precise status of the helicopters was not as important as the violence being directed against opponents of the Syrian government. ‘The focus really needs to be more on what the Assad regime is doing to its own people than the cabinets and the closets to which they turn to pull stuff out.’ Captain Kriby said. ‘It’s really about what they’re doing with what they’ve got in their hand.’"
Excerpt from Influx of Heavy Arms Pushes Syria Toward Civil War | NYT
As to the italics: I think the “precise status” of the helicopters is important. Especially if that news was disseminated deliberately to whip up a fury today.
I’m not sure I need to mention how many foreign countries use American weapons to commit atrocities against their own people or their neighbors.
And all the outrage at using helicopters against civilians. This is authoritarian in the extreme.
And no. I do not support Assad.