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  1. #221
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    Default Re: Syria

    16 February 2012 Last updated at 13:40 ET Syria crisis: UN prepares to vote on Arab-backed plan


    Homs has been the target of government shelling for nearly two weeks
    Syria Crisis





    The UN General Assembly is set to vote on a resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria and calling for an end to the violence.
    The Arab-backed initiative is the latest stage in international attempts to mediate an end to the crisis.
    It also calls for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power.
    Earlier China, which along with Russia vetoed a previous resolution in the Security Council, said it was sending an envoy to Syria.
    Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will go to the capital, Damascus, on Friday, in what Beijing said was an attempt to find a "peaceful and proper" resolution to the conflict.
    Human rights groups say 7,000 civilians have been killed in Syria since the uprising against Mr Assad began last March.
    At least 40 people were killed on Thursday, activists said.
    There were also reports that prominent pro-democracy blogger Razan Ghazzawi had been arrested, along with Mazen Darwish, head of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom Of Expression, and a dozen other people.
    'Children killed' The resolution to be discussed in the General Assembly backs an Arab League plan aimed at stopping the killings.
    The measure cannot be vetoed in the assembly, but the resolution would be non-binding and correspondents say it will make little difference on the ground.
    Continue reading the main story Analysis

    Martin Patience BBC News, Beijing
    Officially, Beijing has a policy of non-interference in other countries' affairs.
    But as China's become more influential, it's a policy that it is finding harder to maintain. In the case of Syria, Beijing remains wary about Western intentions.
    An editorial in the People's Daily newspaper - the mouthpiece of the Communist Party - warned that the violence in Syria could worsen if foreign powers intervened.
    It also stated that America's aim was to establish a friendly government in Syria - in order to counter the influence of Iran.

    Ahead of the vote, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Syrian authorities to stop killing civilians, and said crimes against humanity might be taking place in the country.
    "We see neighbourhoods shelled indiscriminately, hospitals used as torture centres, children as young as 10 years old killed and abused. We see almost certain crimes against humanity," he said.
    Mr Ban said it was "regrettable" that the previous resolution put before the UN Security Council had been vetoed by China and Russia, but that the lack of agreement "does not give the government licence to continue this assault on its own people".
    The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says there is no sign so far that Russia will give in to international pressure and join the condemnation of the authorities in Damascus..
    Russia has opposed what it sees as forced regime change and has raised concerns about the possibility of military involvement.
    Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held brief talks with his French counterpart Alain Juppe in Vienna on Thursday, but said the French - who back the resolution - had offered no new proposals
    In China, Mr Zhai condemned violence against civilians and called for the government to respect the people's "legitimate" desire for reform.
    But in the interview, posted on the Chinese foreign ministry website, he also said sanctions or the threat of sanctions were "not conducive to the appropriate resolution of this issue".
    A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman would not say if Mr Zhai would also meet Syrian opposition representatives during the two-day visit.
    "I believe the message of this visit is that China hopes for a peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian situation, and that the Chinese side will play a constructive role in the mediation," spokesman Liu Weimin said.
    Last week, Mr Zhai met a Syrian opposition delegation in Beijing.

    In Syria itself, government forces are reported to have launched a new attack on the town of Deraa in the south of the country, where the rebellion first began.
    The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were fears of a massacre in the Deraa province village of Sahm al-Julan, where dozens of civilians have disappeared.
    "Witnesses said security forces shot at the civilians and then piled them onto pick-up trucks. Their fate is unknown," the group said in a statement.
    There are also reports of violence on the eastern border with Iraq, and in Kfar Nabuda in the central Hama province, where a number of rebel soldiers are reported to have been killed, along with several civilians.
    Shelling by government forces was reported in Homs, which has along with Hama been hit by major government offensives.
    Reporting restrictions mean such reports are difficult to verify.
    Syria is due to hold a referendum on 26 February on a new draft constitution, which would formally end the Baath Party's monopoly on power, and place a two-term limit on the presidency.
    But our correspondent says it is hard to see how it could be conducted credibly when in many areas the authorities are having to use military force to retain control.

    More on This Story

    Syria Crisis

    Features and analysis


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    Default Re: Syria

    Exclusive: State Department Quietly Warning Region On Syrian WMDs
    February 24, 2012

    he State Department has begun coordinating with Syria's neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad's extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

    This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria's neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria's WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria -- while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad's downfall.

    Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.

    The State Department declined to provide access to any officials to discuss the private diplomatic communication on the record, such as the author of the demarche Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman. In a meeting with reporters earlier this year, Countryman expressed confidence that the United States knows where Syria's WMD stockpiles are, but warned that they could become a very serious security issue for Syria and the region going forward.

    "We have ideas as to the quantity and we have ideas as to where they are," Countryman said. "We wish some of the neighbors of Syria to be on the lookout... When you get a change of regime in Syria, it matters what are the conditions -- chaotic or orderly."

    Today, in response to inquiries from The Cable, a State Department official offered the following statement:

    "The U.S. and our allies are monitoring Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. These weapons' presence in Syria undermines peace and security in the Middle East, and we have long called on the Syrian government to destroy its chemicals weapons arsenal and join the Chemical Weapons Convention," the State Department official said. "We believe Syria's chemical weapons stockpile remains under Syrian government control, and we will continue to work closely with like-minded countries to prevent proliferation of Syria's chemical weapons program."

    The demarche made four specific points, according to other U.S. officials who offered a fuller account to The Cable. It communicated the U.S. government's recognition that there is a highly active chemical warfare program in Syria, which is complemented by ballistic-missile delivery capability. It further emphasized that that any potential political transition in Syria could raise serious questions about the regime's control over proliferation-sensitive material.

    Third, the State Department wanted Syria's neighbors to know that should the Assad regime fall, the security of its WMD stockpile -- as well as its control over conventional weapons like MANPADS (shoulder-fired rocket launchers) -- could come into question and could pose a serious threat to regional security. Lastly, the demarche emphasized that the U.S. government stands ready to support neighboring countries to provide border-related security cooperation.

    "It's essentially a recognition of the danger to the regional and international community of the stockpiles that the regime possesses and the importance of working with countries, given the potential fall of the regime, to prevent the proliferation of these very sensitive weapons outside of Syria's border," one administration official said. "It's an exponentially more dangerous program than Libya. We are talking about legitimate WMDs here -- this isn't Iraq. The administration is really concerned about loose WMDs. It's one of the few things you could put on the agenda and do something about without planning the fall of the regime."

    The administration is also working closely with the Jordanians on the issue. A Jordanian military delegation was at the Pentagon Thursday to meet with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

    In addition to the danger of proliferation, there is a concern that Assad could actually use his WMDs if his situation becomes desperate.

    "The WMD program is in play now, and that's important because it highlights the innate danger that the existence of this regime poses to U.S. security and regional interests," the administration official said. "[The demarche] puts Syria's neighbors on notice and it reflects the recognition that a dangerous Assad regime is willing to do anything to save its own skin. If they are willing to kill the country to save the regime, they might be willing to do a great deal more damage throughout the region."

    Some officials inside and outside the administration see the WMD activity as helpful, but lament that such a high degree of planning is not taking place on the issue of how to precipitate the downfall of the Assad regime as quickly and as safely as possible.

    Over 70 countries met in Tunis today to develop a unified message on the transition of power in Syria and urge the Assad regime to allow humanitarian access. The Saudi delegation actually walked out of the meeting, complaining of "inactivity" and urging the international community to arm the Syrian opposition.

    The Obama administration has consistently rejected calls by the Syrian National Council and others to prepare for a military intervention in Syria and no real strategy exists internally to force Assad from power, another administration official said.

    "Our strategic calculus can't be solely about what comes after Assad without taking a hard look at how to bring about Assad's downfall as safely as possible," said this official. "The reality is, at some point, there will be a recognition you can't plan for a post-Assad scenario without planning how to shape the downfall itself. You can't separate the two."

    Concern about a gap in planning for how to oust the Assad regime is shared by some in Congress, including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who issued a statement today urging the administration to start directly aiding the Syrian rebels and protecting Syrian civilians.

    "Unfortunately, speeches and meetings by themselves will do nothing to stop the unacceptable slaughter in Syria, which is growing worse by the day," the senators said. "We remain deeply concerned that our international diplomacy risks becoming divorced from the reality on the ground in Syria, which is now an armed conflict between Assad's forces and the people of Syria who are struggling to defend themselves against indiscriminate attacks."

    In her prepared remarks in Tunis, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she supported more sanctions on the Assad regime but she declined to endorse any direct help to the Syrian opposition without the consent of the Syrian government, saying only, "We all need to look hard at what more we can do."
    Gee, I wonder if all of those mysterious convoys headed to Syria from Iraq at the outset of war with Iraq had anything to do with bolstering Syria's WMDs.

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    Default Re: Syria

    'US To Announce Aerial Blockade On Syria'
    US readies for possibility of intervention without UN resolution, Asharq Al-Awsat reports, citing US military official; plan to include humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees on Turkey's border

    February 25, 2012

    The Pentagon is readying for the possibility of intervention in Syria, aiming to halt Syrian President Bashsar Assad's violent crackdown on protesters, the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday, citing a US military offical.

    According to the official, the intervention scenario calls for the establishment of a buffer zone on the Turkish border, in order to receive Syrian refugees. The Red Cross would then provide the civilians humanitarian aid, before NATO crews would arrive from Turkey and join the efforts.

    The measure would pave the way for the US to declare an aerial blockade on Syria.

    The intercession is to be modeled after NATO's efforts in Kosovo, which brought an end to the Serbian control of the region. NATO's plan of action included prolonged aerial shelling.

    The US' diplomatic efforts have yet to yield an effective international resolution that would stop the bloodshed. More than 100 protesters have died over the weekend alone, human rights activists said.

    Russia, China To Join Aid Efforts?

    According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Pentagon does not anticipate a change of heart on the part of China or Russia, who have opposed foreign intervention or sanctions against Syria. But the US expects the two nations to join the humanitarian aid efforts, support a ceasefire between the Syrian regime and rebels and send special UN envoys to investigate the developments in the country.

    The next step in the reported US Department of Defense plan would be to appoint a team of UN observers to monitor the humanitarian aid, and enter Syria. They would need aerial protection, which would eventually lead to an aerial blockade.

    The military official said in the interview that the plan is a cautious one, and takes into account the Syrian air force's advanced capabilities.

    In his most forceful words to date on the Syrian crisis, US President Barack Obama said Friday the US and its allies would use "every tool available" to end the bloodshed by Assad's government.

    "It is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government," Obama said in Washington, adding that it "absolutely imperative for the international community to rally and send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition. It is time for that regime to move on."

    As government troops relentlessly shelled rebel-held neighborhoods in the besieged city of Homs, thousands of people in dozens of towns staged anti-regime protests under the slogan: "We will revolt for your sake, Baba Amr," referring to the Homs neighborhood that has become the center of the Syrian revolt.

    Opposition groups reported that 103 people were killed on Friday by the regime's forces.

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    Default Re: Syria

    What bugs the living SHIT out of me is we know that stuff is there and this administration has balked at doing ANYTHING for fear of finding them and proving Bush was right.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Venezuela to ship more fuel to Syria as crackdown spreads





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    CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela is readying a third shipment of diesel to the government of Syria even as President Bashar al-Assad intensifies a crackdown against protesters, said a Venezuelan lawmaker on Monday.
    Last month, Venezuela's government confirmed it had sent at least two shipments of fuel to Syria, potentially undermining Western sanctions as a rare supplier to the increasingly isolated Assad regime.


    Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who is in Cuba recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, has been a vociferous supporter of Syria as part of a self-styled international "anti-imperialist" alliance.


    Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA shipped cargo in February aboard the Negra Hipolita vessel after the same tanker carried a first shipment in November.


    "The information we have received is that the Negra Hipolita is on the Venezuelan coast, and according to the agreement, Venezuela is ready to continue supplying diesel," said congressman Adel El Zabayar from the government's socialist party.


    El Zabayar did not say when the third shipment would be sent.


    The PDVSA shipments appeared to be carried out under a 2010 agreement between the two nations in which Venezuela provides diesel in exchange for food and commodities such as olive oil.


    It is not clear if PDVSA is negotiating directly with Syria's state oil firm Sytrol, which has been blacklisted by the United Sates and the European Union even though there is no blanket embargo on supplying fuel to Syria due to humanitarian concerns.


    "The decision of the government is to give all our support to Syria," El Zabayar said.


    The United Nations says more than 7,500 civilians have died in Syria's crackdown on protests and Assad has refused to back down in the face of international pressure.


    Syria's military pursued rebels on several fronts on Monday after eliminating an opposition bastion in the central city of Homs following a 26-day siege.


    The fuel is crucial to Syria's embattled government as former trading partners have dropped out for fear of violating international sanctions.
    It is not clear when Chavez, 57, will return from Cuba after surgery but in his absence foreign minister Nicolas Maduro roundly condemned international pressure on both Syria and Iran, which is facing sanctions over suspicions about its nuclear program.
    (Writing by Mica Rosenberg)
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    Default Re: Syria

    McCain calls for air strikes against Syria's Assad

    By Trish Turner
    Published March 05, 2012
    | FoxNews.com



    Sen. John McCain on Monday became the first U.S. lawmaker to call for air strikes against the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, putting the influential Arizona Republican in front of the Obama administration in calling for American troop involvement in the year-long struggle between the dictator and Syrian citizens.

    "The time has come for a new policy," McCain said in a Senate floor speech Monday afternoon in which he compared Syrian violence to war crimes in the Balkans and Russia's annihilation of Grozny in Chechnya.

    "Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power," he said.

    "The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through air strikes on Assad's forces," McCain said. "To be clear: This will require the United States to suppress enemy air defenses in at least part of the country."

    McCain, the most senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, recently traveled to the region but heretofore had called only for arming the opposition, a position the administration has been reluctant to embrace as much is still not known about the composition of the rebel groups, saying terrorists could possibly be among them.

    But McCain said air strikes would enable allies "to establish and defend safe havens in Syria" that would "serve as platforms" for the delivery of aid and intelligence, and would give the allies a leg up on deciding which factions to back on the ground.

    With an estimated 7,500 lives lost so far in the brutal government crackdown, the U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford issued a Facebook post Monday on the U.S.' Damascus Embassy page saying the U.S. "is trying as hard as it can to show the world it knows what is occurring in Syria."

    Ford, who left the country late last year over "security fears," said allies operating under the Friends of Syria banner are calling for a strong U.N. Security Council Resolution that would require the Assad regime to uphold commitments made last year to the Arab League to end violence against civilians, withdraw from cities and residential areas, allow access for monitors and journalists and release political prisoners.

    So far, the Arab League and the United Nations have been unable to get Assad to step down.

    Ford said the U.S. will provide millions in humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in neighboring nations and Syrians inside of Syria -- if the aid can get into the country.

    McCain said Monday the Friends of Syria contact group has been "a good step in principle" but has produced "mostly rhetoric but precious little action."

    "Unfortunately, with each passing day, the international response to Assad's atrocities is being overtaken by events on the ground in Syria," McCain said.

    "Assad needs to know that he will not win. ... Foreign military intervention is now the necessary factor to reinforce this," he said.

    McCain, a Vietnam prisoner of war, was also out in front pushing for aid to rebel forces who gradually seized control of parts of Libya before dictator Muammar Qaddafi and his regime were toppled. The senator traveled to the war-torn African nation and called for not only arming the opposition, but also bringing in U.S. firepower.

    McCain said that Syria's serving as "the main forward operating base of the Iranian regime;" its threat to Israel through the support of Palestinian terrorist groups and "its large stockpiles of chemical weapons and materials" makes it even more strategic than Libya.

    "Put simply, the United States has a clear national security interest in stopping the violence in Syria and forcing Assad to leave power. In this way, Syria is very different than Libya: The stakes are far higher, both for America and some of our closest allies," he said.

    It is unclear if McCain's remarks will receive support in a war-weary nation, as the U.S. has withdrawn forces from Iraq and is on track to draw down forces from Afghanistan over the next two years. Speaking about Iran on Sunday, President Obama said there has been too much "loose talk of war."

    But one key McCain ally, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said Monday that more needs to be done in Syria.

    "We must do more to help them overthrow Bashar's evil dictatorship and end his campaign of slaughter. We can no longer stand passively by. We must do more to speed the day when the people of Syria and the people of Iran will again be free," said Lieberman, speaking at the American-Israeli Political Action Committee conference.

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    Default Re: Syria

    I guarantee Russia will make noise about this given their close relationship with Syria.

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    Default Re: Syria

    Congress can actually declare war, Michael.
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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    Default Re: Syria

    Caught: Staged CNN Syria Interviews Faked By Activist Danny


    Syria activist Danny, the poster child to justify a military invasion in Syria, caught staging entire CNN interviews including directing fake gunfire off stage.



    Raw video footage of the Syria activist Danny as he waits to do a live video interview with CNN shows him directing off-stage fake gunfire and explosions, as well as being directed to tell CNN he has been retrieving the bodies of civilians from buildings that collapse due to Syria army mortar fire. It also shows Danny totally exaggerating a sense of fear and urgency as he goes from being totally calm, smiling and even somewhat bored before the on air interview starts to acting totally scared, hysterical and pretending he is in the middle of a war zone as soon as the actual interview starts.

    I have condensed footage of the original video to remove 5 uneventful minutes of watching him waiting around before the interview because most people will not stay interested long enough to get to the parts were he starts directing his off-stage actors to start the faked off stage gunfire. Also below are two detailed reports from the Intel Hub and ******** on this incident, which outline more faked activist reports and other crimes committed by the rebels.



    If you were not already aware, the US and European nation’s are relying solely on the accounts of these activists to justify invading Syria. In fact, I recently posted another video of Syria activists staging videos of fake dead civilians on about half way down on this article.

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    Default Re: Syria

    CNN? NO!

    LOL

    Assholes
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    Default Re: Syria

    We didn't call them "The Communist News Network" for nothing back in my time.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    We didn't call them "The Communist News Network" for nothing back in my time.
    You read my mind.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Syria

    That's REALLY what we called them. When I worked for the White House and they had just started, the other news agencies called them "Chicken Noodle News" when they came into a presser.

    Later, towards the end of Reagan's term, or perhaps in the middle of Bush's term, we (the military) started calling them "Communist News Network" because they were Left leaning, Reagan and Bush haters for the most part and made no secret of that either.
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    Default Re: Syria

    Russian Troops Arrive in Syria

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    • Enlarge PhotoRussian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria (ABC Ne …

    A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions.

    Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad's strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government's violent crackdown on the country's uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council's attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.

    Now the Russian Black Sea fleet's Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency.


    The Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evaluation of Russian citizens," the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.

    RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the US and to the UN had no comment, saying they have "no particular information on" the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.

    Moscow has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Assad regime, to which it sells billions of dollars of weapons. In return Russia has maintained a Navy base at Tartus, which gives it access to the Mediterranean.
    Last week Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.

    "As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the United States in Syria and ensure our military presence there… in order to take part in military actions -- no. I believe this would be against Russia's national interests," Lavrov told lawmakers, according to RIA Novosti.

    Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov denied reports that Russian special forces were operating inside Syria. He did say, however, that there are Russian military and technical advisors in the country.

    U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the U.S. government had not heard of the reports of Russian troops in Syria and declined to comment.

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  16. #236
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Syria

    Ha! You beat me vector.

    Just saw this and was coming in to post about it

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    Default Re: Syria

    Did you see the thousands of Russian troops than just got moved down on Iran's border posted in the other thread?

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    Default Re: Syria

    Well.... as for the "die being cast" it was months ago when Obama did NOTHING at all.

    All Mrs. Clinton has done is talk.

    Diplomacy has long since been used up on those folks.

    Now we have Russians moving in to prop up Assad. And of course... we didn't "Interfere".

    Anyone want to take bets on what is going to happen NEXT?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    MacBeth has little to do with this.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Syria

    The Russians are there to actually SHOOT the "terrorists" (defined as anyone against the Assad government)....

    But you're saying they are there to STOP the Muslim Brotherhood?
    Libertatem Prius!


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