President Putin—accusing Syrian army of using chemical weapon nonsense

President Putin: accusing Syrian army of using chemical weapon nonsense

Sana

Aug 31, 2013

 

Moscow, (SANA)-President Vladimir Putin of Russia affirmed that the Syrian government has never used chemical weapons, describing the accusations against the Syrian army of using such weapons as “nonsense.”

“Holding Syrian government responsible for the use of chemical weapon is a provocation and the calls for striking Syria were because of the victories achieved by the Syrian army and the retreat of the opposition’s gunmen,” Putin said in a statement in Vladivostok on Saturday.

The Russian president added that if Washington fails to show the proof, “that means there is none.”

Putin also told the journalists that President Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, should think of the potential victims of a military attack against Syria.

The Russian President called for considering the trajectory of events over the past ten years as the US has always been making the first move to ignite armed confrontations in various parts of the world, which did not solve one single case in Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Regarding the position of our American colleagues, who affirm that government troops used … chemical weapons, and say that they have proof; well, let them show it to the United Nations inspectors and the Security Council,” Putin added, considering the excuse that the ”information are too classified to present them to anyone” as flimsy and shows their disrespect for their partners.

Putin also expressed surprise at a vote in the British parliament on Thursday that rejected London’s role in a potential war on Syria.

“This was completely unexpected for me,” Putin said, noting, “This shows that in Great Britain, even if it is the USA’s main geopolitical ally in the world … there are people who are guided by common sense.”

The Russian President pointed out that the upcoming G20 summit, which will be held next week in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, could be a platform to discuss the crisis in Syria.

Russia is a vocal opponent of a military intervention in Syria and calls for a political solution to solve the crisis there.

Kremlin said yesterday that that any military intervention in Syria will deal a serious blow to the entire system of world order.

Russia: Military strike against Syria without UNSC approval is act of aggression

Russia reiterated rejection of any military action against Syria outside the Security Council mandate, considering that it would be a violation of international law and an act of aggression if it happened.

“The Russian side has confirmed that any use of force against Syria by the United States, without authorization of the UN Security Council, is an act of aggression and flagrant violation of the principles of international law,” a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry official website after the meeting between the deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul read.

It also indicated that “Michael McFaul presented all the arguments which the US administration relies upon in accusing the Syrian government of involvement of the use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013 in Eastern Ghouta.”

Ryabkov called the American side to “refrain from attempts to use this incident in order to justify military pressure on Damascus, and to allow the full implementation of the agreement reached by the G8 summit.”

Ryabkov also stressed the need to submit the report of UN experts working in Syria to the UN Security Council for consideration.

M. Ismael/Mazen

FSA Rebels Fire Chemical weapons (Blue Propane Tank) Mortar in Damascus suburb

TAKEN FROM FSA twitter page  

3h

Watch Rebels fire chemical weapons missile in suburb

In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins

In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins

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Reuters

A man holds the body of a dead child after what activists claim was a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday.

 

 

WASHINGTON — ON Wednesday, reports surfaced of a mass chemical-weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs that human rights activists claim killed hundreds of civilians, bringing Syria’s continuing civil war back onto the White House’s foreign policy radar, even as the crisis in Egypt worsens.

 

But the Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene more forcefully in Syria’s civil war. A victory by either side would be equally undesirable for the United States.

At this point, a prolonged stalemate is the only outcome that would not be damaging to American interests.

Indeed, it would be disastrous if President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were to emerge victorious after fully suppressing the rebellion and restoring its control over the entire country. Iranian money, weapons and operatives and Hezbollah troops have become key factors in the fighting, and Mr. Assad’s triumph would dramatically affirm the power and prestige of Shiite Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanon-based proxy — posing a direct threat both to the Sunni Arab states and to Israel.

But a rebel victory would also be extremely dangerous for the United States and for many of its allies in Europe and the Middle East. That’s because extremist groups, some identified with Al Qaeda, have become the most effective fighting force in Syria. If those rebel groups manage to win, they would almost certainly try to form a government hostile to the United States. Moreover, Israel could not expect tranquillity on its northern border if the jihadis were to triumph in Syria.

Things looked far less gloomy when the rebellion began two years ago. At the time, it seemed that Syrian society as a whole had emerged from the grip of fear to demand an end to Mr. Assad’s dictatorship. Back then, it was realistic to hope that moderates of one sort or another would replace the Assad regime, because they make up a large share of the population. It was also reasonable to expect that the fighting would not last long, because neighboring Turkey, a much larger country with a powerful army and a long border with Syria, would exert its power to end the war.

As soon as the violence began in Syria in mid-2011, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, loudly demanded that it end. But instead of being intimidated into surrender, Mr. Assad’s spokesmen publicly ridiculed Mr. Erdogan, while his armed forces proceeded to shoot down a Turkish fighter jet, before repeatedly firing artillery rounds into Turkish territory and setting off lethal car bombs at a Turkish border crossing. To everyone’s surprise, there was no significant retaliation. The reason is that Turkey has large and restless minority populations that don’t trust their own government, which itself does not trust its own army. The result has been paralysis instead of power, leaving Mr. Erdogan an impotent spectator of the civil war on his doorstep.

Consequently, instead of a Turkey-based and Turkish-supervised rebellion that the United States could have supported with weapons, intelligence and advice, Syria is plagued by anarchic violence.

The war is now being waged by petty warlords and dangerous extremists of every sort: Taliban-style Salafist fanatics who beat and kill even devout Sunnis because they fail to ape their alien ways; Sunni extremists who have been murdering innocent Alawites and Christians merely because of their religion; and jihadis from Iraq and all over the world who have advertised their intention to turn Syria into a base for global jihad aimed at Europe and the United States.

Given this depressing state of affairs, a decisive outcome for either side would be unacceptable for the United States. An Iranian-backed restoration of the Assad regime would increase Iran’s power and status across the entire Middle East, while a victory by the extremist-dominated rebels would inaugurate another wave of Al Qaeda terrorism.

There is only one outcome that the United States can possibly favor: an indefinite draw.

By tying down Mr. Assad’s army and its Iranian and Hezbollah allies in a war against Al Qaeda-aligned extremist fighters, four of Washington’s enemies will be engaged in war among themselves and prevented from attacking Americans or America’s allies.

That this is now the best option is unfortunate, indeed tragic, but favoring it is not a cruel imposition on the people of Syria, because a great majority of them are facing exactly the same predicament.

Non-Sunni Syrians can expect only social exclusion or even outright massacre if the rebels win, while the nonfundamentalist Sunni majority would face renewed political oppression if Mr. Assad wins. And if the rebels win, moderate Sunnis would be politically marginalized under fundamentalist rulers, who would also impose draconian prohibitions.

Maintaining a stalemate should be America’s objective. And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad’s forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning.

This strategy actually approximates the Obama administration’s policy so far. Those who condemn the president’s prudent restraint as cynical passivity must come clean with the only possible alternative: a full-scale American invasion to defeat both Mr. Assad and the extremists fighting against his regime.

That could lead to a Syria under American occupation. And very few Americans today are likely to support another costly military adventure in the Middle East.

A decisive move in any direction would endanger America; at this stage, stalemate is the only viable policy option left.

 

Edward N. Luttwak is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the author of “Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace.”

Islamist Terrorists In Syria To Be Targeted Too?

Fateh al-Islam advised Islamist in Syria to beware of US

in serbia

Voice of Russia, The Washington Post

The threats of US military action against Assad have sown widespread panic along many fronts within Syria, including extremists in the opposition, media reported.syria_krs
Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups are redeploying their resources in rebel-held parts of Syria amid widespread fears that any strikes carried out by the US would target not only the Syrian government, said rebels and activists.

In many parts of the northern and eastern provinces that have fallen almost entirely under rebel control, extremist groups have been evacuating headquarters, moving military equipment and, in some instances, fleeing to what is considered safer ground in mountainous terrain.

Fighters of the Free Syrian Army unit in Aleppo are heading for mountains in the west of the province. Convoys of vehicles carrying fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Ahrar al-Sham — a Syrian Salafi group — streamed out of the city Thursday, abandoning their headquarters, witnesses said.

In a statement disseminated on the Twitter account of one of its supporters, the radical group Fateh al-Islam offered advice to Islamists, warning that for every US missile that hits a regime target, another will strike a jihadi base.

“America destroyed jihadi bases in a very short period of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, and killed a large number of them, because they weren’t prepared. So don’t fall in the trap of laziness,” said the supporter, Abdullah Saker, detailing precautionary measures.

Even among rebels who have long hankered for Western help in their fight against Assad, there is widespread confusion and concerns about how the US strikes would unfold.

“People here are very worried the strikes will be intended to help the regime,” said Abu Hamza, an activist in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. “Of course I support it if it means ending the bloodshed, but there has been killing for 2.5 years, so why should we believe the United States is serious now? People lost trust in the U.S. government. They think the U.S. will only act for its own benefit.”