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  1. #1
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    The Syrian conflict

    Members of the radical Syrian opposition have boycotted a meeting in Cairo, where some 250 delegates are discussing an internationally backed transition plan. The armed rebels branded it a conspiracy and said the agenda lacked an aggressive stance.
    The rebel Free Syrian Army and "independent" activists lashed out at the organizers of the two-day conference for “rejecting the idea of a foreign military intervention to save the people… and ignoring the question of buffer zones protected by the international community, humanitarian corridors, an air embargo and the arming of rebel fighters."*
    The boycotters said they refused “all kind of dialogue and negotiation with the killer gangs… and we will not allow anyone to impose on Syria and its people the Russian and Iranian agendas.”
    The meeting in the Egyptian capital brought together mostly members of the exiled wing of the Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Council (SNC), as well as representatives from France, Tunisia and Turkey.
    The Cairo event is to be closely followed by a visit of the Syrian opposition delegation to Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Next week the head of the SNC Abdulbaset Sieda may arrive in the Russian capital to meet Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
    The Syrian opposition is mulling a proposition for a transition in the country, which was voiced by international negotiators in Geneva on Saturday. The plan is to form a transition government, which would include representatives from both the current government in Damascus and opposition members.
    The initiative is universally backed in contrast to months of disagreement over how to deal with the conflict. This is even despite lack of coherence over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or members of his inner circle have a place in the would-be transition government.
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said an initial version of the document read “those whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardise stability and reconciliation,” but the phrase was dropped out of the final communiqué on Russia’s insistence and replaced by a reference to “mutual consent” of the parties involved.
    “It didn’t fit in into the principle of inclusiveness and the UN Charter article on non-interference into domestic issues of sovereign states,” he said, adding that the composition of the would-be government has to be decided by the Syrians alone.
    But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believes even in the new version the document implies that Assad has to go.
    There is "no way anyone in the opposition would ever consent to Assad or his inside regime cronies with blood on their hands being on any transitional governing body," she commented.
    French and British officials also said the Syrian President has no place in the future of the country and that the Geneva document implied that.
    In Syria there is skepticism about the international plan. The SNC called it “ambiguous” while the Syrian ruling party's newspaper, Al-Baath, considered the whole Geneva meeting “a failure”.
    George Jabour, former advisor to the Syrian government, argues that this one newspaper assessment is not indicative.
    “Other newspapers did not say so, and the Syrian government is rather positive towards the result. I have watched Syrian official media outlets and they are rather positive,” he told RT.
    The 16-month long violence in Syria has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and security personnel. The exact death toll is difficult to establish, but the UN estimates that more than 10,000 people perished in the hostilities.
    http://www.rt.com/news/fsa-boycott-o...lks-syria-204/


    Man these pathetic terrorists think anyone would actually let them take over syria?

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    They are militia funded by enemies of Arabs

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    Arms flow fuels Syrian ‘internal conflict’ - UN rights chief

    Arms flow fuels Syrian ‘internal conflict’ - UN rights chief


    Published: 03 July, 2012, 01:54

    The situation in Syria should be called a “non-international internal armed conflict,” insists UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay. She also said that the flow of arms to both sides of the conflict is adding fuel to the fire.

    Any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all costs, Pillay told the UN Security Council on Monday. “Any solution to the conflict must adequately address the root cause of the conflict, namely the human rights grievances."

    She used the expression “internal armed conflict” to describe the civil war in Syria in legal terms, adding that both sides of the conflict have been involved in attacking civilians. However, Pillay added that there was evidence pointing to “the greater responsibility of the government” for the violence.

    Pillay also stated there were reports that anti-government forces had been using children on the ground as human shields and that she is ready to send her staff to investigate the claims if the Syrian government would grant them access.

    While the future of the UN observer mission in Syria, which was suspended last month, remains unclear, Pillay says that its presence on the ground is vital.

    Pillay was speaking after briefing the Security Council on Monday following the Geneva conference on Saturday, which was attended by Security Council members as well as European and Middle Eastern leaders.

    The plan urges the sides in the Syrian conflict to form a transitional government consisting of the current authorities and opposition leaders on the basis of "mutual consent." UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan called on the Syrian regime and opposition groups to re-commit to a ceasefire.

    *Meanwhile, the armed wing of the opposition, the Free Syrian Army, has stated that it refuses any transition plan which does not include “buffer-zones protected by the international community, humanitarian corridors, an air embargo and the arming of rebel fighters.”

    The Syrian internal armed conflict lies in the middle of an international struggle, Dr. Jamal Wakim, a political analyst and professor at the Lebanese International University, told RT.

    “The United States’ agenda is trying to establish a coalition of Islamic states, starting with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and now with the rise of Islamists to power in Egypt, they want to form a triangle of Sunni Islamic states that could face what they consider as Iranian expansionism,” he said. “Assad did not want to sever his ties with Iran as was requested by the Americans and that is why we are seeing this mounting opposition to him, this armed rebellion that is supported, financed and armed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

    If the goal is indeed to de-escalate the violence in Syria, the first problem that should be taken care of is those states which are supporting the violence on the ground, Sharmine Narwani, an analyst on the Middle East at Oxford University, told RT.

    “It is unfortunate that Iran and Saudi Arabia were not included in the Geneva talks,” she said. “Saudi Arabia is a major supporter of arming and supporting the militias inside Syria. This process and the rhetoric behind it, which come largely from the West, have to be unraveled before moving forward.”


    http://www.rt.com/news/un-human-righ...-conflict-251/

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    Russia, US in 'war of interpretations' over Syrian peace talks

    Russia, US in 'war of interpretations' over Syrian peace talks

    Published: 03 July, 2012, 13:23


    Moscow and Washington interpret the Geneva agreements on the settlement of the situation in Syria differently, the Chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, has said.

    *"A war of interpretation broke out after the agreement on political transformation in Syria was signed in Geneva," he told reporters on Tuesday.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convinced the agreement makes it clear to the current Syrian leadership that it must go, he said.

    "Moscow, by contrast, said the agreement does not say a word about Assad's resignation and that he is not mentioned at all in it," the Russian lawmaker said.

    Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the Russian view that the final document of the Geneva conference on Syria does not call for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    "This does not follow from the document absolutely," he said at a press conference after the Geneva meeting, contradicting Clinton’s assertion that the document calls for Assad's resignation.

    Pushkov warns that disagreement over the document’s meaning puts the US and Russia on a “collision” course.

    "We are again witnessing a collision,” he said. “On the one hand we can see the United States and the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ who want Assad to resign. On the other Russia and China are seeking an immediate end to the violence and the earliest possible beginning of talks between the Syrian government and opposition.”

    The only common ground between the sides is the belief that the situation in Syria must be settled politically, he said, adding that the US is making Assad’s resignation a precondition of the talks.

    "We advocate talks between the government and opposition, and the U.S. and others – talks with Assad's simultaneous resignation. In fact, they are advancing a precondition for the talks," he said.

    Furthermore, the United States and its supporters actively dictate what the Syrian opposition's position should be, Pushkov said.

    "The rebels have announced already that they will not start talks before Assad's resignation, which indicates that they obey the logic dictated from abroad," the Duma official said.

    A similar type of confrontation ensued over various interpretations of the UN Security Council's resolution 1973 on Libya, he added.

    An international conference on ways to resolve the deteriorating situation in Syria was held in Geneva on June 29.

    Robert Bridge, RT

    http://rt.com/politics/russia-us-syr...eva-talks-282/

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    Assad to Turkey: Sorry about the downed jet, it could have been Israeli

    Assad to Turkey: Sorry about the downed jet, it could have been Israeli


    Published: 03 July, 2012, 14:00
    Edited: 03 July, 2012, 22:33

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a Turkish newspaper he regretted the downing of the Turkish military plane, which escalated tensions between the two countries.

    *“We learned that it (the plane) belonged to Turkey after shooting it down. I say 100 per cent ‘I wish we had not shot it down’,” the Cumhuriyet newspaper quoted Assad as saying in an exclusive interview published on Tuesday.

    “The plane was using a corridor which Israeli planes have used three times before. Soldiers shot it down because we did not see it on our radar and because information was not given,” the Syrian president explained.

    “Of course I might have been happy if this had been an Israeli plane,” Assad said.

    Syrian troops shot down a Turkish RF-4E reconnaissance jet after it crossed into Syrian airspace on July 22. The incident sparked high tension between the two countries, with both building up forces in border areas.

    Ankara says the plane was doing a test flight and was downed after it went back into international airspace. It says it was an act of aggression against Turkey. Damascus insists that the aircraft was engaged by air defense forces while still over Syria proper. It sees the downing as an act of self-defense.

    Assad assured the newspaper that if Turkey is right about where the incident took place, Syria would not hesitate to apologize accordingly.

    “We will not allow (the tensions) to turn into open combat between the two countries, which would harm them both,” he assured.

    Assad also touched upon the results of the Geneva talks last Saturday, voicing satisfaction with the proposal to create a transitional government consisting of current authorities and opposition leaders.


    When asked if his resignation is possible, Assad said he would be ready to leave only if he was sure that the move would solve the crisis in Syria.


    "If saving my people and my country depends on my staying or leaving, then why should I hang on? I would not stay even a day longer. But if the opposite were true; if the people do not want me then they have elections. If the people so choose they can send me packing," he was quoted by the Cumhuriyet newspaper as saying.



    But such a decision, he added, should be made by the people of Syria through democratic elections.


    Cumhuriyet did not specify exactly when the interview took place, but in it Assad mentions Saturday’s international conference on Syria, where a new plan for transition in the country was proposed by leading world powers.

    What more do those American supported militias want??

  6. #6
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    either way it violated their air space.
    syria has the right to shoot anything that violates their sovereignty.

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    Duplicity drives West's Syria policy

    Duplicity drives West's Syria policy
    By Bob Rigg

    Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

    Western media have generally painted a flawed and incomplete picture of the current situation in Syria, where an authoritarian power elite led by a politically blind ophthalmologist is crushing popular insurrection. We are told that Western humanitarian concerns about this have been unfairly thwarted by Russia and China, which are blocking supposedly reasonable attempts to persuade the UN Security Council to intervene and set things right.

    It is ironic that France, now at the forefront of Western lamentations about human-rights abuses, in the late 1920s defended its Syrian mandate with counter-insurgency tactics foreshadowing the cruelty of later French wars in Algeria and Indo-China. In fairness to France it should also be noted that, in 1982, Syria's Hafez al-Assad regime liquidated at least 10,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a bloodbath.

    When France, immediately after World War I, was granted a mandate over the new state of Syria, it had to contend with bitter and continuing resistance from the Middle East country's normally factionalized population. As has been the case with other parts of the region, including Israel, Western creators of this new state lumped together diverse and sometimes warring religious and political groups after little or no on-the-spot consultation. The key Syrian groups have been Syrian Druze, Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, and Christians. But these categories barely skim the surface of the teeming diversity that is contemporary Syria.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that the US has been working to unify the heterogeneous groups making up the opposition: "We're also working very hard to try to prop up and better organize the opposition. We've spent a lot of time on that."

    In the meantime, US officials have admitted that they have been providing covert military training and assistance for some time now. Large quantities of US automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons are being smuggled across the Turkish border by intermediaries including Syria's Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    In this context it is likely that US satellite and drone surveillance has been providing intelligence on Syrian troop movements. The US has also provided between 10-20 classified technologies that may include a mobile phone "panic button" and an "Internet suitcase" to override government communications control. Training in the use of these technologies has also likely been provided.

    Almost from the beginning of the conflict, Saudi Arabia has, with the knowledge of the US government, been making full use of its wealth and local knowledge to pour material and military assistance into Syria. The Saudis are alarmed at the recent re-emergence, thanks to US ineptitude, of Shi'ite predominance in Iraq, which has created a regional "Shi'ite crescent" including Iran and Syria (Saddam Hussein had cunningly removed Shi'ites from their traditional positions of influence and had replaced them with Sunni. The US reinstated the Shi'ites, altogether overlooking the fact that many had spent years in Iranian exile).

    There is no doubt that Iran has been providing its Shi'ite ally with political and military support, although it is not clear just how much and what support. The Russians do have a toehold on Syrian soil in the form of their small Tartus naval base, which is being upgraded and has been declared a permanent regional base for Russia's nuclear-capable warships. This renders problematic any military intervention not sanctioned by Russia. Apparently, the Turkish fighter plane recently shot down for violating Syrian airspace was collecting information on Russia's Tartus base.

    The US has recently generated great international controversy over Russian shipments to Syria of air defense systems, reconditioned helicopters and fighter jets. What the US omitted to say was that these shipments, worth US$500 million in 2012, date back to a series of contracts signed between 2005 and 2007, long before the current crisis. The Russians were hopping mad when the US unilaterally imposed an illegal embargo on one of Moscow's vessels delivering Mi-25 helicopters. Tensions between Russia and the US, already considerable, grew exponentially.

    The West falsely claims that its interest in Syria is purely humanitarian, while it is covertly pouring political and logistical fuel onto the flames of civil war in Syria, escalating the conflict and ensuring ever greater losses of human life. It now seems likely that the civil war will spill over from Syria's cities into the countryside, making a war zone of the entire country.

    Russia and China have made it clear that their unwillingness to support any United Nations Security Council military intervention in Syria is attributable to their disillusionment with the unscrupulous way in which the West exceeded its purely humanitarian mandate in Libya by forcing regime change and having Muammar Gaddafi eliminated.

    In other words, as Russia and China see things, although they were fiercely opposed to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization intervention in Libya they did not invoke their veto to block it, giving the West an opportunity to demonstrate the purely humanitarian nature of its concerns. Unfortunately, what they have learned from this experience is that when the West speaks of human rights, this may well be a front for self-interested geopolitical power plays.

    The US and its regional allies are ensuring that the Syrian conflict will escalate into a hellish long-term civil war with the potential to ignite sectarian and other conflicts in its neighborhood, as we can see with Turkey at present.

    Bob Rigg has written extensively on nuclear and chemical weapons, the United Nations and the Middle East, with special reference to Iran. He was formerly senior editor for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and chairman of New Zealand's Consultative Committee on Disarmament from 2003-2006.


    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG04Ak02.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by PERSIAN GOD KING View Post
    either way it violated their air space.
    syria has the right to shoot anything that violates their sovereignty.

    Agreed. Their air space. As Assad said how were they to know it was not an Israeli incursion

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    President Assad accuses US of 'destabilising' Syria

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the US is trying to destabilise Syria by providing political protection for "gangs" operating in the country.

    In an interview for German TV, Mr Assad also said Saudi Arabia and Qatar were arming "terrorists" in Syria.

    He also accused Turkey of giving the "terrorists" logistical support.

    Meanwhile, Syria's armed forces have been conducting "large-scale" manoeuvres to test their "combat readiness", Syrian state media report.

    On being asked whether the US was partially responsible for the deaths of innocent Syrian civilians, Mr Assad replied: "Yes, of course."

    "As long as [the US] offers support to terrorists in some way, they will be their partner," he added.

    Mr Assad said the authorities in Syria had arrested "dozens" of al-Qaeda fighters from Tunisia and Libya.

    The remarks were provided by German broadcaster ARD ahead of the transmission of the interview later on Sunday.

    Live ammunition

    The exercises showed Syria was able "to defend [its] shores against any possible aggression", according to state-run news agency Sana.

    Tensions along the border with Turkey have been raised after Syria shot down a Turkish fighter jet last month.

    Syrian Defence Minister Gen Dawoud Rajha was one of several high-ranking officers attending the manoeuvres, according to a report on Syrian TV.

    "Our Navy forces started to conduct an operational tactical manoeuvre with live ammunition, during which naval and coastal rockets were fired," the report added.

    The exercises were part of a training plan which involves manoeuvres "carried out over several days", Sana said

    Some in the Syrian opposition have called for foreign military intervention to unseat Mr Assad's government.

    Last week Turkey scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border.

    Also last week, Turkey said it had begun deploying rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the border in response to the downing of its F-4 Phantom jet on 22 June.

    Syria said the Turkish F-4 was shot down by air defence fire inside its airspace.

    Meanwhile, violence continued in Syria on Sunday with 11 people reported dead, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), a network of activists inside Syria.

    Three of the dead were soldiers who had defected, the LCC said.

    Over 15,000 people are thought to have been killed since the start of the anti-government uprising more than a year ago.

    Annan talks

    UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has arrived in Damascus.

    Mr Annan will hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad, his office said.

    On Saturday Mr Annan said his six-point peace plan for Syria had so far "failed", in comments to French newspaper Le Monde.

    Recent diplomatic moves by world powers to try and reach agreement on Syria have also not resulted in fresh action.

    Earlier this week, a group of more than 100 countries known as the Friends of Syria called on the UN Security Council to adopt Mr Annan's six point plan under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would allow for further sanctions.

    However, Russia and China, both of whom hold vetoes at the Council, were not at the meeting and have refused to call for Mr Assad's departure - a key demand of many in the Syrian opposition.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18763672
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    Trying? They have done and it has been done to weaken Syria & Iran and assist Israel
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    Russia says friends of Syria group “immoral”

    PanARMENIAN.Net – Meetings being organized by the Friends of Syria group are one-sided and immoral, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said, according to RIA Novosti.

    “Russia, China and a number of other countries which have traditionally friendly relations with the Syrian Arab Republic and its people have refused to join those ‘friends’ because we believe that the format that they have chosen is not only politically wrong, but also immoral,” Lukashevich said.

    His remarks followed a conference of the Friends of Syria group held in Paris on Friday, July 6 in which representatives of some 100 countries took part.

    Participants in the talks voiced strong criticism of Russia and China for their reluctance to join Western and Arab governments in calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

    In her address to the delegates, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing “will pay a price” for “holding up progress” on Syria, urging the participating countries to put pressure on Russia and China to withdraw their support for Assad.

    Lukashevich said in his comments that the U.S. and its allies’ “friendship” with the Syrian opposition alone could further deepen the bloody 17-month-long conflict between the Syrian government and those fighting it.

    Participants in the Geneva talks, including the five permanent UN Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – as well as Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait have urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to immediately end fighting and obey to a peace plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

    They also called for the creation of a transitional government in Syria involving members of both the current Syrian leadership and opposition groups.

    “Instead of pushing the conflicting Syrian sides to work together to achieve peaceful transition, he said, the Friends of Syria group organize “politico-propagandist performances in the spirit of party congresses, where the fate of Syria is being discussed in the absence of its representatives and loud calls on oppositionists to launch an uncompromising fight to overthrow the Syrian leadership are being heard,” Lukashevich said.

    Those calls are being strengthened by “generous promises of financial and economic support, as well as behind-the-scenes hints at the possibility of using a military scenario” in Syria, he added.
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  12. #12
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    Good things Russia is coming to it's senses.

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    We need some friends of Saudis and GCC to be formed lol.

    Man the west abuse the word friend by calling themselves friends of Syrians. Who needs enemies with friends like these

  14. #14
    Member Iranzamin's Avatar
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    US is immoral

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    Guys - i would always back Russia and China in this matter - just look at the recent behaviouR of the US - are they showing us a legacy of trust?
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    ‘America’s Syrian friends and Afghan foes are same people’

    ‘America’s Syrian friends and Afghan foes are same people’


    Published: 10 July, 2012, 15:54

    Part 1

    It’s puzzling how the US can treat radical Islamists in Syria as allies while fighting against them as enemies in Afghanistan, says the chair of the Russian parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    *Washington’s double standard approach is evident in the Syrian crisis. It supports the armed opposition, which wants to turn the country into a dictatorship, claiming that their war against the Assad government has democracy as the goal, Aleksey Pushkov told RT.

    RT: Do you think the events unfolding in Syria are in line with the interests of the Syrian people?

    Aleksey Pushkov: There is a civil war going on in Syria, and it is only the Syrian political opposition that is benefiting from it. The opposition took up arms and uses violence to achieve their goal. I am convinced that most Syrians don't want to have this armed conflict.

    It is well-known that the armed opposition groups persecute the Christian community in Syria. Thousands of Christians were driven out of their towns and villages. Shia Muslims, a minority in the country – they make up 13 per cent – are also targeted by armed Sunni radicals who represent the majority in the armed opposition.

    Minorities are killed, as we saw in Houla, and driven out. There is a town in Syria called Hama, right now it is controlled by the militants. And there are basically no local residents left in Hama. They have either been killed or fled the city.

    And in this situation the so-called "Friends of Syria" and Hillary Clinton tell us that the armed opposition is fighting for democracy. The armed opposition is not fighting for democracy; they are fighting for a dictatorship. It will be a dictatorship of the forces that they are trying to bring to power to replace Assad. It is clear by now that it has nothing to do with democracy. We can draw this conclusion from the way this armed opposition is acting. They don't want any negotiations, they don't want to comply with the Annan plan, they don't want to create a transition government; they don't want anything. What they want is to have all the power in the country.

    I don't quite understand how the US can support the armed opposition, because these are the same kind of people who blow up American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and kill NATO troops in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, they are considered enemies of the United States, while here they are treated as allies.

    I don’t think this insurgence would have had any serious prospects without external support. But they have this external financial and political support. They get weapons from outside, therefore it's not just an uprising without a serious future – it’s a civil war that split the country in half, as a result of external interference.

    RT: But what are these outside forces actually trying to achieve? Why would they want to wage war?

    AP: The US in particular wants to topple the Assad regime, which has long been considered anti-American. I believe Assad’s good relations with Russia have also played a role. Washington treats any government on friendly terms with Russia with a degree of skepticism, to put it mildly. So they would rather replace it with a regime more supportive of the US.

    As for Islamist or Wahhabi monarchies in the Gulf like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain, they seek to model the Syrian regime after their own. They would like to cover all women under black veils, lock them up at home, and strip them of their electoral rights. In case of dissent, the government would follow the example of Bahrain and open fire against its own people. This kind of conflict is not unique to Syria. But with the events in Bahrain, the US simply turned a blind eye because Bahrain is America’s friend.

    In other words, these Gulf countries would like the Sunnis to take power and establish a religious state just like in the Persian Gulf, and weaken the Shias, who have been ruling Syria, as well as Iran, which is currently regarded as Syria’s ally. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain treat Iran with much animosity and see a toppled Assad as a way to weaken the Shia-Iran.

    The whole situation has little to do with freedom and democracy. Not Saudi Arabia, nor Qatar or Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates have any democracy or freedom, and most of these states even lack a constitution. It would be ridiculous to assume that these undemocratic states can bring democracy to Syria. The Sunni-Shia confrontation adds a very important dimension to this conflict. Though often ignored, it plays a major role.

    RT: Just recently, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, I quote, “Russia and China will pay a price, because they are holding up progress, blocking it. This is no longer tolerable.” What’s your reaction to the statement?

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    Part 2

    AP: All I see is that the US is paying a price for what it did in Iraq. For example, the US has lost a lot of its glamour and trust in its foreign policy. I would even go as far as to say that the occupation of Iraq prompted a crisis in US foreign policy. At the moment, even its staunch allies like Turkey or Egypt, along with the Western European countries, like Germany, the UK and France, saw a drastic hike in anti-American sentiment. The US has now paid a price for their occupation of Iraq.

    Now Russia warns against the occupation of Syria. Russia says that it’s Syrians who should decide their own future. Hillary Clinton may well voice her opinion, but it’s no more than fantasy. I hear she’s about to step down as Secretary of State so this must be her farewell fantasy.

    RT: The US has clearly demonstrated that it’s not going to back down over Syria. How far is Russia prepared to go?

    AP: The conference on Syria held in Geneva in June adopted a roadmap, supported by the US, Russia and China. The countries agreed on the need to set up a transition government, to launch a dialogue between the government and the opposition. The participants agreed that it should be the representatives of the two warring parties that should start these talks. This blueprint was backed by Russia, the US, China and France – almost every country present. So it looks like a sensible solution.

    But as soon as they put their signatures to the plan, a war of interpretation broke out. Hillary Clinton said that the plan implies that Assad must go, while Russia said the document does not even mention the name of Assad so it has nothing to do with his future. Russia insists that the document aims to end violence and start negotiations. And all this despite the fact that all the countries said they had reached a common understanding.

    It’s really strange when five minutes after you reach an understanding, the parties appear divided. Indeed, the countries did reach some common ground, albeit fragile, but again they tend to interpret it differently. This means a political battle is going on. Also, the rebels said they won’t take part in any kind of talks, and refuse to be part of a transitional government. I think pro-rebel forces can easily do both – sign the Geneva plan and then tell the rebels to press on with the old ways – that being their fight against the Assad government.

    RT: What does Russia propose?

    AP: Russia insists on the agreements that have already been reached – that the sides should…

    RT: But the rebels are against…

    AP: Well, if the rebels don’t want to join the negotiations, what can we do about it? We can’t send in our troops and force them to do so. All we can do is to work hard to persuade the US to use their leverage. Washington signed the Geneva plan to set up a transition government. Therefore the US should now use its influence on the armed opposition in Syria to make them comply with it. Otherwise, their policy would look hypocritical – while making official statements in support of the negotiation process they in fact sabotage it.

    We could also work to persuade the Assad cabinet not to renounce their support for negotiations and a transition government. In fact, the Assad government has agreed to the plan. And it is only the armed opposition, the rebels, who are against it. The US says that the rebels are ready to join the negotiations only after Assad has resigned. But this was never mentioned at the Geneva conference. We never signed any document that would say that Syria must change its regime under the influence of the external players. We say that Syrians must make their own decision. This is Russia's stance. Russia cannot work miracles, however it can and will maintain its stance.

    RT: Many experts say that for the US, a war in Syria would pave the way to attack Iran. Do you think this scenario is possible?

    AP: I believe there has been too much speculation on this issue. Personally, I don’t quite see how a possible military strike against Iran is connected with Syria’s future.

    Amidst the economic havoc and domestic hostilities, Syria is clearly out of shape to attack any of the US allies in the Middle East. So should the US decide to wage a war on Iran, Syria will have little to do with it.

    RT: Perhaps it could be a strategic base?

    AP: There are many US allies in the Middle East, for example Jordan, but nobody ever calls Jordan a strategic base to attack Iran. I would not take these speculations seriously. To me, the issues of Iran and Syria are poles apart. Damascus is thought to be Iran’s ally, so you need a regime change in Syria in order to weaken Iran. But in my opinion, this is all very far-fetched. Right now, Syria cannot be a fully-fledged ally to Iran. Too focused on its own domestic affairs, it can neither send its troops abroad, nor cause trouble for America’s allies in the Middle East. So the argument that the US needs to crush Syria before taking on Iran holds little water.

    You know that the issue of Iran is not about its military expansion or aggression. It is all about the nuclear weapons that Iran may acquire. This was a hot topic long before the Syria crisis; it’s been on the agenda for about 12 years, with the US strongly against Iran going nuclear. This alone is enough to prove that the issue of Syria is very different from that of Iran. I would not link these two issues closely together.

    http://www.rt.com/news/america-frien...islamists-812/

    It is known as American duplicity.

  18. #18
    Lord Of The Ring
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    Russia says it won't sign weapon contracts with Syria

    MOSCOW - Russia on Monday signalled that it would not sign new weapons contracts with Syria until the situation there calms down.

    Russia will continue with previously agreed exports, but will not be selling new arms to Syria, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy chief of the Russian military and technical co-operation agency, told Russian news agencies on the sidelines of the Farnborough air show southwest of London.

    Putting it in conflict with the West, Russia has blocked the U.N.'s Security Council from taking strong, punitive action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and is seen as Syria's key arms supplier. Syrian activists say about 14,000 people have been killed in the uprising that began March 2011.

    Russia has been providing Syria's army with spare parts and repairing weapons supplied earlier, Dzirkaln said. He insisted that Russia does not sell helicopters or fighter planes to Syria.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday said he welcomes the decision, but added that Britain "would like to see a halt of all deliveries of weaponry to a regime that has embarked on the killing of so many of its own people."

    U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Washington saw the Russian statement as a good sign but was still seeking further clarification.

    "We have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Russian government at a variety of levels," Ventrell told reporters. " We've expressed our belief that continued arms sales to the regime will only further throw flames on the fire, so we want them to stop all arms transfers, not only existing contracts but any new contracts as well."

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last month issued a harsh reprimand to Russia, saying that Moscow "dramatically" escalated the crisis in Syria by sending attack helicopters there. The State Department acknowledged later that the helicopters were actually refurbished ones already owned by the Syrian regime.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Monday said that Russia is still committed to a peace plan by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, saying that the Syrian government and opposition groups should be "forced" to start a dialogue.

    Annan's six-point peace plan was to begin with a cease-fire in mid-April between government forces and rebels seeking to topple Assad, to be followed by political dialogue. But the truce never took hold, and almost 300 U.N. observers sent to monitor the cease-fire are now confined to their hotels because of the escalating violence.

    Hague on Monday called on Russia to show "a strong commitment to secure the implementation and mandate the implementation of what Kofi Annan has put forward."
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Ru...951/story.html

  19. #19
    Member Iranzamin's Avatar
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    bad move. is putin also going the path of medvedev ?

  20. #20
    Lord Of The Ring
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    As I said, Russia will sell it self for the right price. they were probably offered a deal of some sort.

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