Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Syrian National Council Bails Out from Geneva-II Talks

00 Ted Rall. A Look Back at Syria. 2012

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On Sunday, George Sabra of the Syrian National Council, a major Syrian opposition group with international recognition, told RIA-Novosti in a phone-call from France that it wouldn’t participate in the Moscow-backed Geneva-II peace conference on Syria, saying, “Nothing useful will come out for Syrians from attending the meeting. The decision [not to participate] was made yesterday by the general secretariat [of the council]”. Moscow and Washington proposed the Geneva-II talks as a means of putting the Syrian government and the insurgents at the negotiating table in hopes of ending the 2½-year-long civil war in the Middle Eastern country. Sabra said that his group bailed out due to the lacklustre international response to the consequences of the Syrian war, amongst which he listed mass slaughter of civilians, food shortages, and, recently, the use of chemical weapons. Sabra said that the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council would decide on further strategy after consultations with Syrians on the ground, including the Free Syrian Army rebel forces.

The Syrian National Council, formed in 2011 as an opposition government in exile, won limited diplomatic recognition from a number of countries, including France, the UK, and the USA. In November 2012, it joined the broader Syrian National Coalition, recognised by 20 UN members as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and it has Syria’s seat in the League of Arab States. Sabra said that the Syrian National Council would quit the Syrian National Coalition in case the latter goes through with its plan to participate in Geneva-II.

At the time, the BBC reported that, in a joint statement last month, eleven leading rebel armed groups, including representatives of the fractured Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamists such as the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, said that they rejected the authority of the Syrian National Coalition. Analysts said that the move was a backlash against the coalition’s willingness to participate in the Geneva-II talks, the date for which hasn’t yet been set. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voiced willingness to go to the Geneva-II conference without any preconditions. Most rebel groups say that the removal of Assad and his close affiliates is a sine qua non for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which, according to UN data, has cost more than 100,000 lives to date. On Sunday, no one at the MID in Moscow could comment on Sabra’s statement. Russia’s staunchly advocated a political solution to the Syrian crisis, whilst opposing all attempts by Western and Arab countries to blame the standoff solely on Assad.

13 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20131013/184113772/Leading-Syrian-Opposition-Group-Bails-Out-on-Geneva-2-Talks.html

 

Friday, 1 June 2012

What’s Behind Russia’s Stance on Syria?

The so-called “rebels” are mainly Sunni fanatics who want to murder Alawis, Shias, and Christians… and Sunnis they brand insufficiently “observant”. In short, the USA is backing the radical Islamists again, just as it did in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Iraq. If you doubt my words, ask a Serb from Kosovo, a Christian from Damascus, an Assyrian from Baghdad, or an ordinary bloke from Kabul. The USA aids the most violent Islamists, every time, all the time (Republican or Democrat President, it doesn’t matter, the USA aids the bullies)…

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Amid grisly images of slaughter coming almost daily out of Syria, Russia’s continued refusal to sanction UN action against embattled President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has seen it face a barrage of Western criticism. On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in just the latest attack on Moscow’s stance, said, “[The Russians] are telling me they don’t want to see a civil war. I’ve been telling them their policy is going help to contribute to a civil war”. Earlier this year, both the USA and Britain accused Russia of having blood on its hands over its support for Assad. Twice, Russia has vetoed proposed UN resolutions against Syria and has made it abundantly clear that it’ll block any attempt to seek Security Council approval for a foreign military intervention in the troubled Middle Eastern country. This position showed no signs of significant change even after last Friday’s massacre of over 100 men, women, and children in the Syrian town of Houla, an atrocity the UN believes was at least partly the work of a shadowy militia group loyal to Assad.

Of course, Syria has long been one of Russia’s strongest allies in the Middle East, and a reliable purchaser of Russian weapons. The Syrian port of Tartus also hosts the Kremlin’s only naval base outside the former Soviet Union. However, is this all that lies behind Russia’s apparent willingness to leave itself open to allegations that it is propping up a bloodthirsty dictator? Moscow-based radio Kommersant FM commentator Konstantin Eggert wrote in a column for RIA-Novosti earlier this week:

The Kremlin’s deeply held view of sovereignty as an unlimited right for political régimes to do as they please inside their states is one of the cornerstones of Russian foreign policy, and it’s been especially dominant since the war in Libya. Putin feels that the West duped Russia into de facto sanctioning international intervention in Libya, and seemingly vowed never to let it happen again.

Russia abstained from the March 2011 UN Security Council vote on the resolution that led to the use of force against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but was later critical of the extent and severity of NATO airstrikes. Yevgeni Satanovsky, head of the Moscow-based Institute of the Middle East, said, “Russia saw what happened after the West’s military intervention in Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan and so on. The Russian authorities might not be angels, but they’re very pragmatic and they understand that if you fail once, twice, three times, you’ve to be absolutely crazy to do it again a fourth time. Russia has some interests in Syria, but they aren’t particularly significant”. He dismissed with a laugh the strategic importance of the Tartus naval base.

Putin’s return to the Kremlin earlier this month saw fears in the West of a worsening of ties with Russia, apprehensions seemingly borne out by current tensions over Syria. Nevertheless, some analysts believe Putin’s reluctance to acquiesce UN action against Assad stems more from domestic concerns raised by recent unprecedented anti-Kremlin protests. Aleksandr Shumilin, head of Moscow’s Centre for Greater Middle East Conflicts, said, “Syria’s a vital part of Putin’s domestic policies. He promised to protect Syria from what he says is Western aggression during his presidential election campaign, and he doesn’t want to back down from that now, especially after the recent demonstrations”. Shumilin said that intense state control over national television channels meant there was little chance of public opinion turning against the Kremlin, even after massacres such as the one in Houla, noting, “Most people in Russia believe what state television tells them, that the massacre is Houla was carried out by terrorists and the West is trying to blame it all on Assad. Confrontation with the West over Syria is part of the strongman image Putin’s trying to project to a domestic audience”.

However, Russia’s objections might not protect Assad for long. On Wednesday, Washington’s envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, said that the most likely solution to the crisis was that the Western powers and their allies would intervene in Syria without UN approval. Rice didn’t specify what actions she meant, but with little scope left for sanctions, her words brought closer the prospect of unilateral military action against the Assad regime. By striking Syria, however, the USA and its allies would be going against the wishes of the Syrian-based opposition to Assad. Whilst the foreign-based Syrian opposition movement, the Syrian National Council, called for outside military intervention to end the bloodshed, the internal opposition is vehemently against the use of foreign troops or air forces to bring a halt to the more-than-year-long conflict.

Yusuf, a Syrian journalist working in Moscow who did not want to give his surname, said, “Many people in Syria don’t like Russia’s position at all, but that’s not to say they want to see foreign military intervention. We all saw how many people were killed by NATO bombs in Libya. Then again, a lot of people feel that Russia isn’t doing enough to pressure Assad and that the Kremlin’s support gives him carte blanche to do as he likes. Russia’s lost many friends in Syria. The Soviet Union helped build up infrastructure across the Middle East in the 1970s, when the West turned its back on Arabs. We were always taught that the Soviet Union was a friend to oppressed peoples. That’s why I was shocked when I saw crowds in Syria burning the Russian flag. This is a first. But Russia needs to pressure Assad more and to be seen doing so by the Arab world”. Yusuf also suggested despite growing calls for intervention, the West had no real appetite for war in Syria, observing, “Russia’s stance is actually very convenient for the West. They know how costly an invasion of Syria would be and can blame their inaction on Russia and China”.

Dr Imad, another Moscow-based Syrian professional, who hails from the region around Houla, backed Russia’s policy of non-intervention, saying, “I fully support Russia’s position on Syria. Foreign military intervention in Syria would lead to a catastrophic war in Syria that’d be dangerous not only for the entire Middle East region, but also for the whole world. It’s not important who’s president. What’s important is to bring all the sides to the negotiating table and stop the violence… and this is only possible without foreign military intervention”.

However, even if the West does ignore the UN and strike Syria, if may find it will wish it hadn’t, Eggert wrote in his RIA-Novosti column:

The Kremlin will never sanction a Security Council resolution authorising the use of force. As a senior Russian diplomat told me a few weeks ago, “If the West wants to burden itself with Syria, well, we can’t prevent it from doing so. However, the Western countries will then be wholly responsible for the outcome”.

31 May 2012

Marc Bennetts

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20120531/173776552.html

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

VOR Presents… Western Élites May Try to Use Houla Massacre as a Pretext for to Provoke Régime Change in Syria

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Editor’s Foreword:

By the way, I’m well aware of what the Radical Right says about Mr Hammond. I’d say that the truth’s the truth, no matter who speaks it. In any case, the USA isn’t the pure unspotted lamb that it purports to be. Ask the people of Cuba (the USA smiled whilst the Mafia raped Cuba under Batista, you must recall)…

The original article by Mr Hammond is here. What I offer is a translation of a Russian gloss on that article. This is useful; it illustrates the Russian take on the situation, one diametrically opposed to that found in Western governmental and mainstream media sources. VOR is a semi-official source; ergo, one can assume that it offers a “take” on the situation in accord with that of the Russian government. Don’t fall for the Western drumbeat for war. I’d observe that the USA and the UK have committed aggression in foreign parts over the last twenty years, whilst Russia and China have not. Ask the mothers of the children murdered in drone strikes in the Hindu Kush and the Christian refugees from Iraq… ‘nuff said.

BMD

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Jeremy Hammond, editor of the online magazine Foreign Policy Journal, gave a critical analysis of US foreign policy and tried to understand the causes and possible consequences of the massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla. As Hammond suggested, the massacre in Houla, responsibility for which lay on both government forces and the rebels, could become a pretext for US and NATO intervention in the internal conflict to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This, in turn, Hammond noted, is the next step to a régime change in Iran. Thus, to implement such a strategy, the US administration developed a strategy to destabilise the Middle East to subordinate its interests to those of the West, primarily the USA.

The West accuses the Syrian government of murdering at least 108 people, including 34 women and 49 children, in Houla on Friday 25 May 25. However, there’s evidence that the responsibility for this crime lies with rebel forces and terrorist groups operating with the support of the USA, NATO, and its allies in the region. The brutality with which it was committed is likely to be an occasion for new appeals to the beginning of military operations against Assad on the grounds of “humanitarian considerations”. Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, the Western media have relied primarily on sources who oppose the régime, such as the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose leader, Rami Abdel Rahman, works from his home in London, supplying the world information (and misinformation) from its sources in Syria (though perhaps not from there). Even influential human rights organisations like Amnesty International engage in the propaganda campaign of disinformation of the forces opposing the régime, with support from the USA and its allies. The USA provides the Syrian opposition “nonlethal support”, as the Orwellian language of the US State Department puts it. These actions are consistent with those of American “friends and allies in the region”… Saudi Arabia and Qatar… that finance and arm the rebel forces, including with anti-tank weaponsThe Washington Post reported that US efforts include coordinating the supply of weapons to “credible opposition figures”. According to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the US supplied “means of communication that allow activists to evade attack and keep in touch with the rest of the world”. The use of the word “activists” was a euphemism to avoid saying “armed rebels”.

US NATO ally Turkey has provided operational bases for the Free Syrian Army, arming the rebels with surplus weapons from NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi in Libya. According to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, these weapons “were flown in on NATO aircraft”. In December, Giraldi wrote that Turkey “acts as the proxy of the USA” to realise clandestine NATO plans for yet another military intervention under the pretext of “humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya”. At the same time, Giraldi noted, “Syrian government claims that it’s being assaulted by rebels who’re armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false”. Of course, the US government later publicly acknowledged that it’s doing just that. Writer and journalist Pepe Escobar reported how the rebel forces have access to an arsenal of weapons stolen from the military depots of the former Gaddafi régime, or kindly “donated by NATO and Qatar”. As Daniel McAdams noted, “as soon as the USA began supplying the rebels specialised communications equipment, enabling them to more accurately attack government forces and government institutions, only then did the most deadly and terrible bombing begin”.

According to the UN, terrorists are responsible for the bombings in Syrian cities, in particular, in Damascus, Hama, Aleppo, Idlib, and Deir ez-Zor. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the nations of the world not to supply weapons neither to the Syrian government nor to the rebels. He noted, “The sophistication of design and power of the bombs indicates a high level of competence, which may indicate the involvement of terrorist groups”, alluding to the fact that al-Qaeda is responsible for two suicide bombing attacks in early May that killed at least 55 people. Ban said, “Those who see an opportunity to support any of the parties through the supply of arms, military training, or other military support, should reconsider their position to help end the violence”. Speaking about the role of the USA and its allies, he added, “As reported, the government continues to receive military equipment and ammunition from other countries. There is also data on arms transfers to opposition forces”. Back in February, Secretary of State Clinton warned against arming rebel forces, saying, “Are we supporting al-Qaeda in Syria?” Such fears seem to have ceased to concern the USA. Together with al-Qaeda, they openly supply material support to insurgents.

Western media outlets continue to fall for the propaganda hoax. Earlier this week, the BBC published photos of children killed during the massacre at Houla under the headline, “Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows”, and the caption, “This image… which can’t be independently verified… is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial”. Photographer Marco di Lauro was outraged when he saw this publication, undertaken without his permission. He took this photo in Iraq, but the Syrian opposition sent it to the BBC. Signore di Lauro said, “What’s amazing is that a news organisation has a picture proving a massacre that happened yesterday in Syria, and, instead, it’s a picture that was taken in 2003 of a totally different massacre. Someone’s using someone else’s picture for propaganda on purpose”. He posted the photo published on his website, explaining that the bodies were from a mass grave in Musayyib, 40 kilometres (@25 miles) south of Baghdad. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who’s a special peace envoy to the region, tried to mediate and persuade both sides to accept a peace plan involving a ceasefire, but that hasn’t come to fruition. Rebels blamed the violence in Houla on government forces and declared that they wouldn’t abide by a cease-fire if the international community refused to intervene. A Free Syrian Army statement said, “We declare that until the UN Security Council takes urgent action to protect civilians, Annan’s plan can go to hell”.

The Syrian government denied that it’s responsible for the outbreak of violence and massacre of civilians. Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said, “We categorically deny that government forces are responsible for this massacre. There were no Syrian tanks or artillery in the area. Syrian forces only retaliated to protect their positions”. During the massacre, he said, “Women and children, and other innocent people were killed in their homes, and the Syrian Army doesn’t do that. This is savage murder”. He also said that when government forces attacked rebel positions armed with machine guns, mortars, and anti-tank missiles, three soldiers were killed and 16 were wounded. UN observers noted that a massacre took place, and observed, “After examining the area, we can confirm that artillery and tanks fired on residential areas”. However, nowhere do they state that fire from government tanks and artillery killed civilians. On the contrary, General Robert Hood, the head of the UN Observer Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), said, “The circumstances that led to these tragic killings are still unclear”. Secretary-General Ban sent a letter to the UN Security Council, stating, “Whilst the detailed circumstances are unknown, we can confirm that there’s been artillery and mortar shelling. There’ve also been other forms of violence, including shootings at close range and severe physical abuse”. On Saturday, the Security Council adopted a formal statement condemning the killing of civilians “in attacks that involved a series of government artillery and tank shelling on a residential neighbourhood”. The statement also called for the cessation of “all violence in all its forms, by all parties”.

The report of the New York Times of the Security Council’s condemnation of the massacre led its readers to think that the responsibility for it laid with the government forces, as illustrated by a quotations from the German Permanent Representative to the UN, Peter Wittig, who remarked, “The evidence is clear… it isn’t murky. There’s a clear government footprint in those killings“. Only in the second half of the article (on the second page on the site) did it say that the responsibility of the government forces wasn’t yet proven, but it stated, “Mr Ban skated very close to blaming Syrian government shelling for at least some of the deaths, whilst carefully noting that the cause hadn’t been completely determined”. In the next paragraph, the author added, “The Russians seemed to be swayed by the arguments that it made little sense that the opposition, which is heavily Sunni Muslim, or even extremist jihadist elements, would kill so many of their own faith in cold blood, said one Security Council diplomat, speaking anonymously about a closed-door session”. However, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “No doubt, the government used artillery and tanks. There’s also no doubt that many bodies were found with injuries from firearms received at point-blank range. So, the blame must be determined objectively”. In conclusion, he added, “We’re dealing with a situation in which both sides evidently had a hand in the deaths of innocent people”.

In the initial version, the Security Council statement directly accused the Syrian government, but Russia insisted that the Security Council listen to General Robert Hood, the head of the UN Observer Mission in Syria, before it passed any resolution. As a result, the statement doesn’t assign any direct responsibility for the carnage to government forces. Government forces may have committed this massacre in Syria, but we can’t rule out an alternative version, as the mainstream media doesn’t mention that they get their information mainly from official sources in Western governments and from insurgents supported by those Western governments. According to another point of view, terrorist groups, directly or indirectly financed and armed by the USA and its allies, were the main perpetrators of these murders. Whoever was responsible for the massacre, no doubt, the slaughter find use as a pretext for new calls for NATO military intervention to overthrow another régime unwilling to submit to Washington’s interests in the region.

General Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, explained in a speech at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco CA on 3 October 2007 that after 9/11 there was a “political revolution” for the implementation of long-term neoconservative objectives. Clark was an inside witness to the efforts to use 9/11 as a pretext for the war in Iraq, despite the complete absence of evidence of Iraqi involvement in the attack or the presence in that country of weapons of mass destruction, but their plans didn’t end with Iraq. Clark recalled a discussion with a US Defence Department staffer who showed him a memo obtained from the office of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, stating, “It says we’re going to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years… we’re going to start with Iraq, and then we’re going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran“. General Clark explained to his audience that the goal of US foreign policy was “to destabilise the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control”. The overthrow of Assad in Syria isn’t an isolated problem. This is also another step toward régime change in Iran, which remains without a regional ally.

30 May 2012

Jeremy Hammond

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2012_05_30/76442207/

Editor’s Afterword:

Let’s not be coy. Although Interventionist Democrats and Neocon Republicans are equally bellicose in their foreign policy rhetoric, I’d warn that the Republicans are beholden to domestic political interests that make them the greater danger by far. For instance, Wafflin’ Willy refuses to repudiate Donald Trump’s birtherism… he sucks up to the worst Religious Right elements… he makes continual statements that he’d wage permanent warfare in foreign parts on anybody who’d displease him and his fat-cat buddies. In short, there’s no dispute. Hillary Clinton might be a low-life, she’s a lying operative who’d do ANYTHING for personal political gain, but Willy’s programme is demonic by comparison.

Don’t be fooled by the “niceness” of Mormons. They’re NOT Christians in the least… and Willard’s nasty political programme proves it. Willard isn’t alone… ponder that. Mormons… Pentecostalists… “Evangelicals”… they’re all the same. They believe in Radical Apocalyptic Individualism; they aren’t averse to nuclear war (Left Behind, anyone?)… after all, it’d provoke “the Rapture”, and usher in “Christ’s millennial reign on earth”. You may call that many things, but “Christian?” Most certainly NOT…

BMD 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Syrian Religious Leaders Thanked Russia for Its Opposition to UN Security Council Resolutions

Bishop Luke Habib-Khoury of the Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and Mufti Alaa Eddin Zateri at a press conference at RIA-Novosti in Moscow

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Syrian Christian and Muslim leaders expressed their gratitude to Russia for its “fair position” in relation to the present crisis in their homeland. On 17 February, Bishop Luke Habib-Khoury of the Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and Mufti Alaa Eddin Zateri presented their views at a press conference at RIA-Novosti. They’re part of a Syrian delegation, “The Echelon of National Unity”.

Mufti Zateri said that Syrian Christians and Muslims have a common understanding of the current events, saying, “No religion advocates mayhem. On the contrary, religion appeals to the good in us. All constructive parties are welcome, whether they’re from the opposition or from the president’s faction. We need an internal dialogue in Syria, not foreign intervention. The Russian position’s correct, for it supports dialogue. However, you can’t have a dialogue with criminals, with the Syrian rioters”.

All those participating in the press conference (in addition to the previously-named religious leaders, the other panel members were Mohsen Ghazi, Deputy Chairman of the Association of Creative Unions of Syria, the famous Syrian and Arab journalist Bassan Abu Abdallah, and Ahmed Al-Hussein, President of the Syrian National Community in Saudi Arabia) had a common viewpoint concerning the current events in Syria. They believe that the UN resolutions vetoed by Russia and China were unilateral American efforts. According to Mufti Zateri, the USA “wants to divide the Arab world, to build a new Middle East where brothers will kill each other”. The panel members are convinced that the Arab countries pushing in the UN for the intervention of foreign forces in Syria are acting under American instructions. Bishop Luke Habib-Khoury described the spiritual cause of the Syrian crisis by saying, “Evil is found all over the world, the devil has his dwelling-place in many people. The devil is moving from America to the Middle East. It’s all in the interests of Israel and Zionism … they don’t believe that Christ ever existed, they’re all against Syria. I kid you not! The Russian people are a people of principle; they know what justice is, integrity plain and simple. Any state that knows the truth will always stand up for Syria”.

All the participants of the press conference categorically denied that the opponents of President Assad are legitimate, calling them renegades. According to their point of view, interested outsiders control the instigators of the disorder, the crisis flared up due to the so-called “Council of Istanbul” (al-Assad’s opponents in exile). Bishop Luke noted that the only real opposition is still in-country, “the opposition outside of Syria… they’re not a real opposition. Those who cry out from the West, who want to overthrow the régime, aren’t an actual opposition, they’re the destroyers of their country, they’re pushing people to violence. Look, let them present their programme… what do they want after Assad? If there were elections in Syria, they’d not receive a single vote”. Bishop Luke thought that the real opposition, who are Syrian patriots, paradoxically, are in the ranks of the supporters of President Assad, “In Syria, all of us are in the opposition. We want to pull Syria out of the muck; we want a better life…”

Answering a question on the religious situation in Syria, all the participants unanimously declared that Syria is one of the luckiest countries as far as inter-religious peace was concerned. Bishop Luke said, “No one should worry about the situation of Christians in Syria. We Orthodox are the largest group of Christians, but Catholics and other Christians are as free as we are. We have complete freedom of religion, we can worship as we please, and we can build mosques and churches. Our Church in Syria doesn’t pay taxes; we’re even exempt from paying bills for such things as utilities. We’re free to celebrate our holidays, and the Muslims are free to celebrate theirs. Christians have all the same rights as all other Syrian citizens”. In turn, Mufti Zateri stressed that the most important thing for Syrians was that they were all equal citizens of their country. “We don’t divide people by religion; we don’t even speak about it. Sometimes, friends don’t even know their friend’s religion. For example, in Damascus, there are more than 20 types of Muslims, but all of them, firstly, are citizens. Our passports have no category for ‘religion’. All the differences between us are just theoretical, if I may say so. The main thing for us is respect for the individual”. The conference participants, of whatever faith, saw unity in Syria, which they believe faces the threat of external aggression on the part of UN forces.

At the press conference, someone asked why so many Western media outlets deliberately misrepresent the situation in Syria. Bishop Luke said that the report that pro-government forces shelled the famous Orthodox monastery in Saidnaya was absurd, saying, “The army struck a blow at it? This is a significant religious place, President Bashar al-Assad and his father, President Hafez al-Assad, both visited it. How could it be? It’s nothing but media lie!” In conclusion, he appealed to the press, “My friends! I want you to understand that journalism’s a sacred profession, if it provides the truth. Through the intercessions of the Virgin Mary, the Church at Saidnaya still stands, even though there was a huge explosion there. I give thanks to God, to the Virgin Mary, and to all who believe in the truth. Amen”.

20 February 2012

Yuliya Zaitseva

Pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/smi/51688.htm

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