Topic: Protests in Syria
MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia Seeks Red Cross Cooperation on Syria
- U.S. 'Concerned' About Iranian Flights to Syria
- U.S. Allocates $12 mln in Assistance for Syrians
- Turkey May Set up Buffer zone at Syrian Border
- Saudi Arabia Closes Embassy in Syria
Moscow has denied media reports that a Russian warship has arrived in Syria, while a senior member of European parliament demanded an inquiry into the allegations.
As tensions around Syria escalate, media reports circulated on Monday said a Russian warship with marines onboard had arrived off the Syrian coast. Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, denied the reports, but a senior member of the European parliament demanded an inquiry into the allegations.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday one of its tankers, Iman, had arrived off the Syrian coast for technical reasons and its civilian crew was accompanied by security guards. The ministry said the tanker was carrying fuel and food supplies for the Russian Black Sea and Northern fleets, which are engaged in anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Russia’s chief of the general staff, Nikolai Makarov, said on Tuesday the country had no plans to send warships to troubled Syria while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the reports were fake. "Reports that Russian warships are in Tartus are complete fairy tales," he said.
A senior member of the European parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, has called for an immediate UN inquiry into allegations by the Syrian opposition that a Russian warship was delivering weapons to Syria. He said if the reports were proven, it would make Russia an accomplice in al-Assad’s alleged crimes against humanity.
Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov responsible for international cooperation said military deployment in Syria was not in Russia’s interests.
“Russia has no units, no special forces, no troops in Syria. All this is nonsense,” he said. “It does not meet our national interests.”
The Syrian Defense Ministry also denied the reports.
“This information is false and is part of the anti-Syria campaign waged by some countries…. seeking military interference into Syria’s domestic affairs,” the SANA news agency quoted a Syrian defense official as saying.
Russia previously stated that it sold arms to Syria in accordance with existing contracts but these deliveries were not in contravention of any international agreements. Moscow also said the weapons were not being used against civilians. Russia supplies Syria with a variety of weapons including anti-ship and air-defense missiles, armored vehicles and aircraft.
Western nations and Israel have accused the Syrian authorities of violently suppressing the year-long protests taking place in the country against Assad's rule. He in turn has accused the West of supporting the protesters, who he says are al-Qaeda linked militants and army defectors.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
- wulfranoSoldiers12:35, 20/03/2012The news about russian soldiers in Syria came out of Sevastopol Russian Naval Base in the Black Sea. However, Syrian authorities have denied the report. I hope the report is false. Russian soldiers are real soldiers, unlike American fairy soldiers who love to kill sleeping women and children.
- gunshipdemocracywhy no inquiry for French, UK and US special forces?16:15, 20/03/2012what about civilian casualties caused by NATO bombing in Libya and EU special forces in Syria? yes please do inquiry ASAP. But real one.
- russian federationso what if they are there!21:03, 20/03/2012no nazi country can tell what the Russian armed forces can do to protect it's intrests, can they!! bring it on!
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: A down-to-earth person
Infographics: The Linguistic Diversity of the Planet
Europe is not an alien civilization to Putin. If the Russian world wins, the European family would likely offer a place – possibly the pride of place – to a new and better Russia, with its large population consisting of many ethnic groups. By incorporating Crimea, Russia has not left Europe but has re-entered it after 20 years of living in isolation.