Russia accuses West of inciting Syrians

2012-07-18 20:31

Moscow - Russia on Wednesday accused the West of inciting the Syrian opposition after the defence minister and President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law were killed in a bomb attack, arguing that support for the rebels was a dead end that would lead to more bloodshed.

Russia, a longtime Syria ally, is at odds with the US and its European allies ahead of a scheduled vote on Wednesday afternoon on a new resolution that would impose sanctions on Syria's government aimed at ending the country's 17-month civil war.

"Instead of calming the opposition down, some of our partners are inciting it to go on," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday.

Supporting the Syrian opposition "is a dead-end policy, because Assad is not leaving voluntarily", he said.

The key stumbling block to an agreement on a Syria plan at the UN Security Council is the Western demand for a resolution threatening non-military sanctions and tied to Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, which could eventually allow the use of force to end the conflict in Syria.

Russia is adamantly opposed to any mention of sanctions or Chapter 7. Although Western nations appear to have little appetite for force, Russia fears a repeat of the Nato campaign in Libya and adamantly opposes any prospect of international intervention.

A Western-backed resolution that would impose sanctions and allows for possible military intervention "would amount to direct support of the revolutionary movement", Lavrov said.

Britain's Foreign Secretary insisted on Wednesday, however, that the bombing underscored the urgent need for a Chapter 7 resolution.

"The situation in Syria is clearly deteriorating. All the members of the UN Security Council have a responsibility to put their weight behind the enforcement of... Annan's plan to end the violence," he said in a statement.

Putin supports Assad

In Paris, French Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bernard Valéro said that the Syrian regime "is not in control of the situation," making continued chaos more likely.

The pressure was rising on diplomats as Syria's rebel commander Riad al-Assad said his forces planted a bomb inside a room where senior government officials were meeting on Wednesday. The rebel leader denies government claims that it was a suicide attack, saying all those who carried out the operation are safe.

There has been a lot of diplomatic scrambling to try to get council unity, which would send a much stronger signal to Syria, with international envoy Kofi Annan in Russia for two days of high-level meetings, including talks with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

The Western draft resolution would impose non-military sanctions against Assad's regime if it fails to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from populated areas within 10 days - a key plank of the Annan plan.

Moscow's rival proposed resolution calls for the "immediate implementation" of Annan's plan and guidelines for a political transition approved at a meeting in Geneva last month but makes no mention of sanctions.

Russia and China have incurred international criticism by twice vetoing UN resolutions to increase pressure on Assad. In Beijing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sat down for talks Wednesday morning with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

After the meeting, Ban said the Chinese leaders shared his view that the situation in Syria is "very serious."

"I sincerely hope the members of the Security Council will be able to discuss with a sense of urgency and take collective action, with a sense of unity," Ban said. "We cannot go on like this way. So many people have lost their lives during such a long time."

A commentary that ran Tuesday in the official People's Daily newspaper strongly opposed using force against Syria - a sign that China may again block the Western-backed resolution. It said "a political solution is the only way out of the Syrian problem."

In New York, Syria's main opposition group urged Russia on Tuesday to support the Western resolution, saying it was the last chance "to breathe life" into Annan's peace plan.

Bassma Kodmani, a Syrian National Council spokesperson, told reporters that if the Security Council fails to act, Syria's opposition will consider other options - which she did not disclose - to protect the Syrian people.

Kodmani noted that the Syrian people have been calling for a no-fly zone, safe zones for delivering humanitarian aid and the arming of the Free Syrian Army.

She said she told Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin at a meeting earlier on Tuesday that a Russian veto of a resolution threatening sanctions would be a "blank check to continue the violence."

  • keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-18 20:46

    Assad I think you should unleash your chemical weqapons on these wester back rats , dont waste time wipe them off the syria soil for once and for all, get rid of the scumbags

      keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-18 20:47

      I mean chemical weapons

      tommo.too - 2012-07-18 20:57

      I don't care what you mean. A nation that uses chemical weapons against its own people contravenes all international law and is committing war crimes. Your own comment condemns the Syrian government and rightly so. They are barbarians.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-18 21:01

      You sound to me a first class terrorist yourself !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 21:05

      Keith is a disconnected person who doesn't understand his own violence and heartlessness.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-19 05:47

      patrick, WOW !!!! Your very first comment, EVER, without hatred, racism or filth. Keep it up !!!

  • tommo.too - 2012-07-18 20:51

    The west is supporting the Syrians. Unlike Russia who has totally betrayed them. That is why Russia is responsible for what is now happening.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-18 20:59

    The Syrians need , and deserve, any support they can get, in their fight to get rid of 50 years of tyranny. They can now smell victory over these acid terrorists !!

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 21:07

    The neo-Soviet Russian regime under Putin doesn't understand what freedom of expression really means. This is what their opinion reflects.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-18 21:23

    I think that Russia and China should veto everything that the Nato warmongers endeavor. China and Russia have done the world a great service, and earned the gratitude of millions of Arabs.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-18 21:37

      The west needs the syrian airspace to attack Iran. Fidel, get out of the way.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-18 21:40

      If you don't stop annoying the adults who are trying to have a serious discussion then I'm afraid Santa will be informed and he won't be stopping at your shack.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 22:02

      Only 12 of the 166 countries on Earth, plus Fidel, Patrick, Keith and Luyolu believe Assad is a legitimate leader and should remain in power. Fidel believes the neo-Soviet Russian regime under the ex-KGB thug Putin is going to bring democracy to the Middle East. He's on frecord saying this.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-18 22:09

      Again, don't you ever get tired of lying and spouting the same rubbish, thread after thread?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-18 22:16

      Fidel, ""China and Russia have done the world a great service, and earned the gratitude of millions of Arabs"" There is a whole series of legends like this one, supported by and embroidered on without proof or substantiation. Should I take your word for it?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 22:24

      Fidel, now you're sinking to lying to try and cover up what you've said. It's here, on these threads, and many people have pointed it out to you.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 22:28

      Only 12 countries voted against the resolution in the UN General Assembly late last year declaring Assad an illegitimate leader because of his brutality and demanded that he step down.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-19 09:13

      @Anthony Yes, and be original please. I'm not here to educate you.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-19 11:16

      No, you are here to bore everybody,and you would be the last person in this world, I would like to be educated by, rather by a bank robber,at least, he has some guts and class !!!

  • charlieyipeee - 2012-07-18 21:44

    Strange discussion. If you look the Arab league has itself condemned Assad and thrown out their diplomats. Assad is widely believed to be behind mass slaughter, yet several of you would like him to be left to it...

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-18 21:55

      What, the Arab League, those bastion of democracy? If you can't make up why those who might disagree with you do, it's easy to rattle off nonsense like that. My argument has always been that we should not believe all we hear particularly when the information is coming from those with a dog in the fight, like this so called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 22:04

      Excellent point.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-18 22:10

      Even the Arab League, with its weaknesses, sees what's going on. Assad is slaughtering fellow Muslims wholesale, in his futile attempt to hold onto power. He's crossed the line even with them. Fidel, with his immature anti-West belief blinds himself to truer reality.

  • keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-19 03:10

    The western vampires are playing hide and seek in the meanwhile supplying those rats with weapons, they think Russia and China are idiots

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-19 05:43

      If you believe that the Russians give a damn about the Syrian population, you are a bigger idiot than I thought you are. The Russians only care; ABOUT THEMSELVES !! Once the Russians are convionced their naval base is safe, they will drop this acid terrorist, like a hot potato. And the Chinese; As long as their raw materials supply lines are ok, they also could not give a damn!! The Syrians are in it by themselves, and they know this !!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-19 12:02

      And If you believed that the coalition of the killing give a damn about the Syrian population, you are a much bigger idiot than you think he is. They have been killing Muslims since Adam and Eve. The life of Muslims isn't worth a damn to these killers. They are killing Muslims daily in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Iraq, etc.. Watch what they do and not what they say!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-19 15:29

      Unfortunately the reality Fidel watches is distorted by his immature anti-West core belief. He unwittingly supports the wholesale murder, detention, rape and torture of Muslims by unelected dictators and Jihadists, and doesn't know it. He defends his delusion vociferously. He believes neo-Communist Russia will bring democracy to the Middle East.

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