Friday, October 31, 2014


News

Russia Accuses U.S. Of Arming Syrian Opposition Fighters

A Syrian resident shows a shell to a United Nations observer in the Talbisah area in Homs on June 11.
A Syrian resident shows a shell to a United Nations observer in the Talbisah area in Homs on June 11.
By RFE/RL
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Washington of providing weapons to the Syrian opposition for their fight against pro-government forces.

Lavrov made the allegation on June 13 in Tehran where his talks with Iranian officials included the deteriorating conflict in Syria. (Editor's note: Lavrov's comments were later reported to have been mistranslated.)

On June 12, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Russia of dramatically escalating violence in Syria by providing President Bashar al-Assad's regime with shipments of heavy weapons, including sophisticated attack helicopters.

"We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria," she said. "They have from time to time said that we shouldn't worry, everything they're shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That's patently untrue."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to reveal the source of Clinton's information, but she said Clinton was referring to new helicopters that are still en route to Syria from Russia -- not Syria's existing helicopter fleet.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said previously that Russia did not send weapons to Syria "that could be used in a civil conflict."
 
Meanwhile, a senior United Nations official has warned that Syria in now in a state of a civil war.

Herve Ladsous, the United Nations' peacekeeping chief, said a "massive increase in the level of violence" indicated the nature of Syria's conflict has changed.

"Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria has lost some large chunks of territory, several cities, to the opposition and wants to retake control," Ladsous said.

Ladsous is the highest-ranking UN official to publicly declare Syria is in the midst of civil war. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week that he thought civil war was "imminent."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on June 13 also described the conflict in Syria as "civil war."
 
Fabius said France planned to ask the United Nations Security Council to make a UN-backed peace place for Syria obligatory by invoking the UN's Chapter 7 provision.
 
A Chapter 7 resolution in the Security Council can authorize the use of force, and is unlikely to be backed by Russia and China.

Syria's Foreign Ministry denied it was in a state of civil war, saying the country was facing "an armed conflict to uproot terrorism."

UN observers inspect a residential area with Free Syrian Army gunmen in the Talbisah area of Homs.
UN observers inspect a residential area with Free Syrian Army gunmen in the Talbisah area of Homs.





Meanwhile, Sausan Ghosheh, spokeswoman for the UN mission in Syria, says monitors were attacked on June 12 while trying to reach the besieged opposition-held town of Al-Haffa.

"The United Nations observers tried to reach Al-Haffa but we were confronted with angry crowds that surrounded our cars and stopped us from proceeding forward," Ghosheh said.

"They then started hurling stones and metal rods at our vehicles. The UN observers turned back. As we were leaving the area, three vehicles that were heading towards Idlib were fired upon. The source of fire is still unclear."

Opposition activists blamed regime loyalists for the attack on the monitors.

Ladsous, the UN peacekeeping chief, said he believed the attack was "deliberate."

Government forces have been reinforcing their encirclement of Al-Haffa and shelling the town for a week.

The UN monitors have been trying to investigate the worsening violence there since June 7.

The UN monitors previously accused government troops and pro-regime militia of massacring civilians in the village of Houla -- including scores of women and children.

On June 12, the UN added Assad's regime to its "list of shame" for killing and torturing children.

"In Syria, children as young as 9 years of age were victims of killing and maiming, detention, torture, arbitrary arrests and were used as human shields by the Syrian government forces, including the Syrian armed forces, the intelligence forces, and the Shabiha militia," said Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general's special representative on children in armed conflicts.

"And, in addition, these forces have regularly raided and used schools as military bases and detention centers."

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 72 people were killed across Syria on June 12 -- most of them civilians. It says more than 14,100 have been killed in the uprising since Damascus launched a deadly crackdown against protesters 15 months ago. The tolls could not be independently confirmed.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and the BBC
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
June 13, 2012 12:19
as in a case of Lybia, Bosnia, and Kosovo Syria's civil war has been instigated and fueled by US government and its NATO minions

by: Jack from: US
June 13, 2012 14:52
yes, US government is supplying weapons to Wahhabi Sunnis fighting Syrian people. US is the major sponsor of terrorism.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
June 13, 2012 15:19
Remind us Jack, why you live in the US again? Wouldn't you be happier in Moscow, or perhaps Yerevan?
In Response

by: Dave from: US
June 13, 2012 17:37
Because jack was either born in US or moved to US.

Andrew, why do you live in Auckland?
In Response

by: Ivan from: California
June 13, 2012 20:14
Jack, I have never seen a terrorist carrying a M16, they always have AKs. Therefore the Russians are profiting and supporting terrorism.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 14, 2012 05:49
"Ivan" from Califorinia: the reason why someone would prefer a Russian-made AK to a US-made M 16 is because an M 16 is piece of crap, whereas an AK is a good quality weapon :-))).
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 14, 2012 23:01
To a degree I agree with Eugenio - I have used them both. The M16 needs daily cleaning and maintenance to help prevent jamming - something you don't always get time to do in certain situations. The Kalashnikov is much forgiving.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 14, 2012 23:04
Additionally, don't forget about our other old friend - the AK47 Chi-com. China has produced more AKs than all of Eastern Europe combined.
In Response

by: Ivan from: California
June 15, 2012 00:29
Eugenio, you are right about the AK, great point, but I wasn't comparing the 2 rifles, that is for a different forum. My comment was Russia is profiting and supporting terrorism. Every terrorist is carrying a Russian made weapon.
In Response

by: ukr fan from: Canada
June 14, 2012 03:19
Don't know why I respond to emails from jerks like Jack and Andrew, but I guess I feel some sane person has to respond. Both of you go have a drink of Kool Aid and cool off.

by: Anonymous
June 13, 2012 16:54
The better question is so what? Assad father (former KGB ) seized power in Syria through a Russian backed coup. Since that time not only has Syria hosted hundreds of Russian troops and KGB, it has been home to Hezbollah , Hamas and the PKK all of whom are armed with Russian guns. These organizations have created civil wars in Isreal , lebanon and Turkey for decades.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 14, 2012 05:38
The French newspaper "Le Figaro" publishes in its today's (Thursday) edition an interesting and revealing article on the situation in the Syrian capital Damascus as seen by a French expatriate Jean-Pierre Duthion (who, according to the article, has been working in the country for the last 5 years as a consultant).
According to Jean-Pierre Duthion, "the life in Damascus has not changed a lot" in the last 18 months. A couple of car-bombs exploded, but that was pretty much it.
What this info suggests is that, apparently, the degree to which Syria has been affected by violence has been exagerated by most Western media (with the purpose of justifying an illigitimate military intervention by NATO) and that the violence in question has been limited geographically and did not affect the power central of the govt of Bashar al-Assad.
Reference: http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2012/06/13/01003-20120613ARTFIG00752--damas-la-vie-n-a-pas-beaucoup-change.php

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 14, 2012 20:30
While some are talking, others are acting: "The Russian Military Prepares Expeditionary Forces, Allegedly for Deployment to Syria" - http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=39494&tx_ttnews[backPid]=27&cHash=f40e9ea0df1da9c32e906a377d58c831
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 16, 2012 00:06
Thanks Eugenio for bringing this site to our collective atttention. Time will tell if the report is accurate.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 19, 2012 00:18
You have proven correct again, Eugenio! http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-reportedly-sending-warships-to-syria/24618251.html

Most Popular