Topic: Protests in Syria
Russia: Syria Rebels’ Airport Threat ‘Unacceptable’© REUTERS/ Goran Tomasevic
Russia: Syria Rebels’ Airport Threat ‘Unacceptable’© AFP 2013/ Phil Moore
MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti)
- Sixty Syrian Rebels Reported Killed
- New UN Envoy on Syria Rules Out Foreign Military Interference
- Syrian Rebels Threaten Attacks on Airports
- Moscow Calls on U.S., EU to Lift Sanctions against Syria
Russia said on Monday it would work with other countries to ensure that the rebel Free Syria Army stops making “unacceptable” threats, following the announcement on Friday that the FSA now views Syria’s two biggest civil airports as “military targets,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
“These kinds of threats are absolutely unacceptable,” the Foreign Ministry commentary said.
“They are a gross violation of international law, first and foremost the Chicago Convention of 1944 governing international civil aviation,” it said, and called on countries that have influence with the FSA to put an end to the threats.
The FSA earlier warned airlines to suspend service to Damascus and Aleppo, saying rebel forces could begin attacking airports in the two cities as early as Tuesday, the London-based daily Asharq Alawsat reported on Friday, citing the FSA's high command.
“The civil airports of Damascus and Aleppo may become targets of FSA attacks beginning on Tuesday next week, since they are being used by the criminal regime for military aviation to carry out strikes against Syrian rebels,” the report said.
The Syrian air force was forced to begin using civil airports due to a string of successful rebel attacks on military bases, including one on an airfield near Idlib that destroyed 10 military planes, it said.
But the Russian Foreign Ministry said the rebels are approaching a “red line, beyond which lie actions that in no way differ from the crimes of Al-Qaeda.”
Full responsibility for such “terror attacks” would be borne by the FSA and “its enablers,” the commentary said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday that the FSA’s threat was the product of “irresponsible” deliveries of portable surface-to-air missiles to rebel forces.
Simultaneously with the threat of attacks on civil airports, the Foreign Ministry advised Russians not to travel to Syria and advised Russians already in Syria to find the safest available routes out of the country.
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- tim-williamsonSyrian forces - rebel and government00:51, 04/09/2012If there is no enforceable accountability on leaders, whether rebel or Assad, then violence will continue. It is the responsibility of world leaders to bring all parties, government and rebel, before the ICC or the UN Criminal Court and let international law work to resolve this before more lives are needlessly lost. Russia and China have an opportunity to lead in this matter. Otherwise the responsibility of continued loss of life in Syria and elsewhere is solely theirs.
- tim-williamsonRussia and China - LEAD in this...00:56, 04/09/2012Russia and China have an opportunity to lead in this issue. They should demand that Assad and the rebels bring their issues before the world courts for mediation and investigation. No longer can states sit idly by while other supposed leaders violate international law. Action is required before more lives are needlessly lost.
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.