Voices from Russia

Friday, 7 April 2017

Masterminds of Aggression Against Syria to bear Responsibility for its Consequences: Safronkov at UN

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Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN V K Safronkov told reporters after a closed-doors meeting in the UN Security Council that Russia is receiving “direct signals” that a military operation is under preparation in Syria and warns that those behind it will bear the responsibility for all its consequences. The meeting took place amidst media reports on an upcoming military operation in Syria. Safronkov said:

We’re receiving direct signals here that they’re preparing such an operation. Those who concoct such projects will bear the responsibility for all possible consequences.

Less than half-an-hour after the meeting, the first reports came that the USA launched missile strikes on Syria. According to the NBC TV, the strikes came in response to what Washington alleges was the Syrian government’s use of banned chemical weapons in Idlib Governate. The Americans launched TLAM (Tomahawk Land-Attack) cruise missiles at  Ash Sha’irat Airbase. US intelligence alleged that the base was the source of the supposed chemical attack.

7 April 2017

TASS

http://tass.com/politics/939903

Editor:

The irresponsibility and vacuity of this is overwhelming. If you needed proof that Donald Trump is a vicious child who strikes out when vexed, this is your proof.

BMD

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Here’s Why Donald Trump is Unlikely to Attack Syria

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US threats to attack Syria look less strong than parts of the media have made them appear and the US military is certain to oppose such action. The debate about the Syrian chemical attack yesterday and President Trump’s comments during a news conference with the King of Jordan led to speculation that the USA might be readying an attack on Syria. The speculation stems from the fact that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that if the UN Security Council fails to take action over the chemical attack the USA might consider taking “unilateral action”, whilst President Trump himself made comments during the news conference that appeared to leave the military option open.

Unfortunately, on any international issue, one can never completely rule out the possibility of unilateral military action by the USA. However, on balance, neither Haley’s comment nor President Trump’s comment, seem to presage military action. Haley made her comment during a debate in the UN Security Council about the setting up of an investigation to look into the details of the chemical attack. No one questions that such an investigation should take place. The draft Resolution prepared by the Western powers… as with every Resolution the Western powers proposed during the Syrian crisis… is absurdly unbalanced, effectively blaming the Syrian government for the chemical attack before the investigation takes place. However, even this Resolution conceded that we need an investigation, especially after the relevant UN bodies said that they couldn’t themselves say who was responsible for the chemical attack. Russia, for its part, prepared its own draft Resolution that… far more neutrally… calls for an investigation.

It’s difficult to avoid the impression that Haley’s comment was part of the game of bluff and counter-bluff that nowadays regularly takes place in the UN Security Council. Specifically, she appears to have been trying to scare Russia into agreeing to the Western draft Resolution and to drop its own. Russia is most unlikely to let this kind of bluff intimidate it. Having already ruled the West’s draft Resolution out, it’d almost certainly persist in rejecting it. As for Trump’s comments, as the entirety of his words during the press conference show, he didn’t directly threaten unilateral US military action in Syria but made his comments when pressed to say by a journalist whether he was considering military action. He declined to give any concrete answer one way or the other, but the clear impression from his comments is that he isn’t contemplating it.

Overall, the impression President Trump’s news conference gave was that Trump’s focus remains overwhelmingly on fighting ISIS… he said far more about that than about the chemical attack in Syria… and that although he doesn’t want to give more ammunition to his domestic opponents by denying the Syrian government’s responsibility for the chemical attack, he tried to shift ultimate responsibility for the likely lack of a US reaction away from himself onto President Obama. Ultimately, the same factors that deterred a US military attack to lift the Syrian army’s siege of eastern Aleppo last autumn remain in place today. The Russian air defence system with its S400 and S300 SAMs is still in Syria. Last autumn, The US military made clear their deep reluctance to engage this system and nothing since has happened to change their views. More than any other US President in recent years, Trump looks to the US military for political support. It’s even less credible that he’d go against their advice than President Obama did. In light of all this, a unilateral US attack on the Syrian military on anything like the necessary scale to affect the course of the Syrian war is extremely unlikely.

6 April 2017

Alexander Mercouris

The Duran

http://theduran.com/heres-why-donald-trump-is-unlikely-to-attack-syria/

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Putin Warned Junta Against Blaming Territorial Losses in the Donbass on Russia

00 dead junta soldiers. Novorossiya. 17.08.14

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On Monday, President V V Putin cautioned the Ukrainian junta against laying the blame for its military defeats in Novorossiya on Russia, saying on TV, “It’s extremely bad that they’re both trying to justify their defeat and blame Russia for it. However, the worst thing is that they’re trying to take a stand-off between the Ukraine and Russia to a higher level”. This comment comes amidst increased accusations from Kiev and from the West that Russia aided the VSN in Novorossiya to make territorial gains, specifically around the strategic rail hub of Debaltsevo. The town was a hotly contested area for days before the VSN encircled and trapped junta militants there last week. Putin also said, “If they implement the Minsk accords, I believe that the situation [in Novorossiya] will gradually normalise”. He emphasised that Europe and Russia were equally interested in a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, adding, “No one needs a conflict on the edge of Europe, especially an armed one”. He noted that there’s no need for a third round of Minsk peace talks yet, and called everyone to focus on implementing the 12 February ceasefire deal, saying, “There’s no need for this yet… to take any urgent measures… because these Minsk agreements, they aren’t just a document outlined by four negotiators in the Minsk process, namely, the Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, they’re enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution and have become an act of international law effectively endorsed by the entire international community”.

23 February 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150223/1018651887.html

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Russia Nixes Western Move at UN to Condemn Syria for Air Strikes Against Insurgents

00 Syrian Arab Air Force Mi-24 attack helicopter. 09.01.14

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According to media reports, Russia blocked an effort at the UN to condemn Syrian government air strikes on insurgents holed-up inside cities in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. Reuters reported that diplomats said that Russia suggested so many amendments to a UK-sponsored motion that the UK withdrew the proposal, finding it weakened to the point of an empty gesture. Russia strongly backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; it’s repeatedly blocked moves to condemn his régime in the continuing Syrian Civil War. AFP stated that the British proposal expressed “outrage” at Assad’s targeting of civilians in his forces’ bombardments of urban areas during the Battle of Aleppo, which is still in issue between rebels and government forces. The Syrian government enjoys total air supremacy over the opposition rebels. Apart from brief international unity over the decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile brokered between the USA and Russia, the UN is in gridlock over how to respond to the Syrian crisis. Russia vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions condemning Syrian government actions since the civil war broke out in 2011. According to the UN, the present conflict caused over 100,000 deaths and displaced over a million people.

9 January 2014

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140109/186363090/Russia-Blocks-UN-Move-to-Condemn-Syria-Bombing–Report-.html

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