Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Syrian Source: Syria Initiates Military Option, Russia Supportive - Russia Warns against Syria Meddling

Syrian Source: Syria Initiates Military Option,

Israa Al-Fass

A well-informed Syrian source denied Wednesday that a Russian green light to the Syrians for military action was recent, assuring that the Russian stance has always been supportive and determined that a strict action should be taken against the armed groups.

Speaking to Al-Manar website, the source said he had informed the Syrian leadership, five months ago, about a Russian desire to end the Syrian crisis militarily.

He further indicated that “the Russian officials have always assured that no country should bear having armed groups in its territories or having regions out of its control.”

While the source clarified that the Syrian leadership was late in initiating a military operation due to certain calculations that mainly involve avoiding civilian casualties, he assured that the operation will be over within a few of days.

Moreover, the source pointed out that the gunmen in Baba Amro and in Madaya were “finished”, and that the region has become under the Syrian army’s control, after the armed groups’ main commanders were killed.

The Syrian army has waged Wednesday military operations in the Zabadani region as well as the Bloudan region near the Lebanese borders, after the armed groups refused to hand over their weapons.
The Syrian source reassured that the operations taking place in Syria will be “more than decisive” because the official decision today has adopted a “conclusive military option”, and said that the operation has begun three days ago, and should be over before the Ba’ath party conference in takes place in the country.

Russia Warns against Syria Meddling
Local Editor
Russian leaders under fire for a UN veto Wednesday rejected outside interference in the Syrian situation, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warning against behaving "like a bull in a china shop."
"Of course we condemn violence from whichever side it comes, but we must not behave like a bull in a china shop. We need to allow people to decide their own fate independently," Putin said in televised remarks.

The Russian strongman, who is standing for a third presidential term on March 4, spoke after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for talks in Damascus on Tuesday.

Talking to religious leaders during his presidential campaign, Putin warned that intervention in Syria could lead to a situation similar to that in Libya after the overthrow of its leader Moamar Gaddafi.

"No doubt we should give the peoples of these countries an opportunity to decide these problems independently," he was quoted as saying, referring to both Syria and Libya.

"Our task is to help them do it without any outside interference," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev later Wednesday urged further efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, including at the United Nations Security Council.
Medvedev stressed "the necessity of continuing -- including at the UN Security Council -- a search for coordinated approaches to help the Syrians regulate the crisis themselves" , the Kremlin said in a statement.

In a phone call with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Medvedv said that the crisis must be resolved "without outside interference, with complete respect for the sovereignty of Syria," the Kremlin said.

Russia last week used its veto at the Security Council to block UN action on Syria, a decision that Medvedev described as justified, arguing the resolution would not have promoted a peaceful conclusion to the conflict.

Russia's top diplomat Lavrov at a news conference earlier Wednesday after his return to Moscow from his talks in Damascus pointedly sidestepped a question from a reporter who asked him whether Russia had asked Assad to go.

"Any outcome of national dialogue should be the result of agreement between the Syrians themselves and should be acceptable to all Syrians," Lavrov told journalists.

Lavrov, who was given a hero's welcome by Syrian people in Damascus, also said that recalling envoys from Damascus would not help the Arab League's plan.

Lavrov defended Russia's decision to reject the latest draft resolution, saying Moscow had prevented opposition armed units from taking control of more cities in Syria.
Source: Agencies
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