Thursday, June 14, 2012
Russia accuses U.S. of arming Syrian rebels
At a new conference in Iran, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the U.S. of interfering in Syria and “providing arms to the Syrian opposition which are being used against the Syrian government.” Lavrov's volley could be in response to Hillary Clinton's remarks yesterday to the effect that Russia was supplying weapons and even attack helicopters to the Syrian government. Both parties are no doubt helping arm the side they support although in the U.S. it may be indirect through helping Qatar and Saudi Arabia deliver weapons through Turkey.
Lavrov insisted that the Russian weapon shipments were for air defense. The Russians will make it difficult and costly for any attempt to set up a no fly zone without the agreement of Syria. Lavrov argued that Russian shipments to prop up an existing government were in accordance with international law while providing arms to rebels was not.
The situation seems to get worse rather than better in Syria. Both sides appear to be involved in atrocities although with its superior fire power most of the killing of civilians is probably through continual Syrian attacks upon urban civilian within rebel controlled areas. There seems little hope left that the UN peace plan will work and both sides are routinely ignoring its terms. The situation is made even worse by the actions of Al Qaeda type terrorists. For more see this article.