Moscow says NYET to American bullying of Syria. It’s obvious… American interventionists want to take down Assad as they see him as an Iranian ally (and they think that they’re striking a blow against Hezbollah). If Moscow can delay the Western warmongers until the US election… the danger may pass. Netanyahu won’t strike… China and Russia have given tacit assurances to Iran. Interesting, no?
The situation in Syria is coming close to a wide-scale civil war. The Kofi Annan peace plan isn’t working; it seems that all parties lack grounds for reconciliation. A new bloody massacre near al-Qubeir and the Syrian opposition’s opting out of the Armistice Agreement led to gloomy assessments at the UN. Despite that, Moscow reiterated that we must save the UN-backed peace plan for Syria, and that we should call a new international conference that’d work out a mechanism to carry out this plan.
The first details of the 6 June massacre that killed nearly 100 civilians in two villages near Hama in Syria became known late this week. Every second victim was a woman or a child, who were either mutilated or burnt. Finally, UN Observer Mission members finally visited the village of al-Qubeir. Earlier, the Syrian Army banned their entry into the village. When they entered, they came under fire, but we don’t know who the gunmen were yet. There were no residents in the village… therefore, the attempt to speak at least with one of them ended in failure. The observers discovered armoured vehicle tracks of there, and missiles, grenades, and shells damaged some houses. Meanwhile, UN observers remain unaware of the reason for that massacre and the exact number of victims. The opposition Syrian National Council is trying to pin the blame for the crime on Damascus. Both the West and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced their accusations too.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) called the massacre a provocation aimed at wrecking the Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria, and Sergei Demidenko, an expert with the Institute for Strategic Assessment and Analysis, said that such mass killings were the last thing that Assad could wish for. Vladimir Sotnikov, an analyst from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAN, voiced a similar opinion, saying, “The government forces aren’t responsible for the al-Qubeir massacre. What occurred was an attempt of opposition elements, which have contacts with the Islamist groups and al-Qaeda, to aggravate the situation in the country. Such massacres prepare the ground for a foreign intervention in Syria that could prove helpful in ousting the régime of Bashar al-Assad”.
Immediately after the bloody drama near Hama, there were repeated calls for a military intervention in Syria. Answering all those who’d welcome such a dénouement, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “The parties involved in the Syrian conflict, including the opposition abroad and the Syrian National Council don’t want to sit down at the negotiating table with Assad. They’re ready to continue the armed struggle until the UN Security Council gives a mandate for a foreign intervention in Syria. I guarantee that it won’t give such a mandate”.
Ibrahim Naovaf, the coordinator of the Syrian humanitarian project “The Price of Freedom”, said in a VOR interview, “As regards ordinary Syrians, they don’t want foreign soldiers in their country. More than 80 percent of Syrians support the President. Why? The people take into account the continued terrorist attacks and the terrorists who are trying to build a so-called democracy on their blood. People defend themselves because neither soldiers nor security forces can assume responsibility for the country. Terrorists organise sudden attacks. They can place a car bomb and escape, and civilians may die in the explosion”.
In order to persuade the armed opposition to enter into dialogue with the authorities, Moscow called for the convocation of an international conference on Syria as soon as possible. Amongst its possible participants are countries having influence on both sides in the conflict. Moscow believes that the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and also Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, and besides, international organisations, including the League of Arab States (LAS), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations should take part, because Moscow proposes that all action must take place under UN auspices. Russia is ready to start a dialogue in this format in Moscow or Genève, or in any other place acceptable to all its potential participants. The main thing is to reach agreement in using their political influence on Damascus and on various opposition groups obliging them to observe a cease-fire. The next step would be to establish a dialogue between them.
9 June 2012
Voice of Russia World Service