Syria's Troubled Waters
By Stephen Lendman
Conflict continues. It's raged for two and half years. It shows no signs of ending. Washington's peace overtures ring hollow. Obama prioritizes war.
Russia represents the last line of defense against it. Vladimir Putin responsibly endorses peaceful conflict resolution.
On Monday, he addressed Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states. They include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
Afghanistan and Serbia are observers. Iran's a possible future member. CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance. Its charter opposes aggression.
Putin warned about foreign terrorism threatening countries like Syria. They don't appear out of "nothingness" or disappear that way, he said.
He stressed the need for CSTO states to establish a joint position on resolving the conflict.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said CSTO nations support efforts to do so.
"We are concerned over the situation in Syria, not only in light of its repercussions on the whole region, but also due to its aftermath on the international laws system," he said.
Russia's lower house Duma Communications and Mass Media Department announced a Tuesday meeting on Syria.
Russian Foreign Ministry members, other officials and political experts may attend. The Duma issued an earlier statement. It called on world leaders to oppose military aggression. It urged peaceful conflict resolution.
On Sunday, Lavrov called Western efforts to draft Security Council UN Charter Chapter VII resolution language "irresponsible and unprofessional."
"They see in the US-Russian deal not a chance to save the planet from significant quantities of chemical weapons in Syria, but as a chance to do what Russia and China will not allow, namely to push through a resolution involving (the threat of) force against the regime and shielding the opposition," he said.
He expressed concern about the "indifferent" US position regarding what he called "a unique chance to (help) solve" Syria's conflict by eliminating its chemical weapons.
He discussed information Russia revealed proving insurgents have access to chemical weapons. Claims otherwise ring hollow.
He wants international consensus agreed on to pressure opposition elements to hand over CWs they control and agree to have them destroyed.
Russia's ready to send military and other security forces to Syria. Lavrov said they'll safeguard UN chemical weapons experts.
"An international presence is needed on the perimeters of the areas where the experts will work," he said.
"We are willing to send our troops and military police to participate. I do not think that there is a need for a major contingent. I think military observers will be sufficient."
He wants other Security Council states, Arab League countries, and Turkey to send similar contingents. He wants all foreign sides involved.
Russia remains committed for peace. Lavrov's clear and unequivocal. Moscow rejects Chapter VII authorization for war. Security Council language is being debated this week.
Russia and China vetoed three previous Washington Security Council initiatives for war. They'll add a fourth or more if needed.
On September 23, Russia Today (RT) headlined "Assad: Terrorists may attack chemical weapons inspectors, blame Damascus."
He voiced his concerns on China's CCTV. He did so from Damascus. He knows insurgents have access to chemical weapons. He fears he'll again be blamed if and when they use them.
"We know that these terrorists are obeying the orders of other countries and these countries do drive these terrorists to commit acts that could get the Syrian government blamed for hindering this agreement," he said.
"By submitting the draft to the UN Security Council, or by urging the US and Russia to agree on a deal, the US, France, and Britain are just trying to make themselves winners in a war against a Syria which is their imaginary enemy," he added."
Russia and China will "ensure any excuse for military action against Syria will not stand," he stressed
Asked for details about chemical weapons, he said:
"Syria has been manufacturing chemical weapons for decades so it's normal for there to be large quantities in the country."
It did so for self-defense against Israel. It's occupies Syrian land for decades. It maintains formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons stockpiles.
It uses banned weapons frequently. It launched cross border attacks on Syria. It did so preemptively. It did it aggressively. It'll attack again. International law affirms the right of self-defense.
Israel's partnered with Washington's war on Syria. Assad knows what he's up against.
"We are a nation at war," he said. We've got territories that have been occupied for more than 40 years, but in any case, the Syrian army is trained to fight using conventional weapons."
CWs are safe, he stressed. Syria's army controls them.
"So there is nothing to worry about," said Assad. Russia and China agreed to send experts to help destroy them. Top priority is preventing Obama from waging war.
A Final Comment
A previous article discussed Mint Press News headlining "Exclusive: Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack."
It discussed Ghouta residents and insurgents saying Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan provided "chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group."
Some were "tube-like" in structure. Others were like a "huge gas bottle." They were stored in tunnels.
According to Mint Press:
"Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault."
"More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government."
Prince Bandar bin Sultan's directly involved. He's Washington's point man against Syria. He's advancing the kingdom's top goal - destroying Assad, Iran's government and Hezbollah.
Attacking Ghouta was a classic false flag. Assad had nothing to do with it. Insurgents bear full responsibility.
On September 23, Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson headlined "Saudi Arabia Threatens to "End Career" of Reporter Over Chemical Weapons Story," saying:
AP reporter Dale Gavlak was threatened. She co-wrote the Mint Press story. Insurgents admitted responsibility for attacking Ghouta. Saudi Arabia supplied CWs to launch it.
Within 48 hours of Mint Press' story, managing editor Muhammad Muhawesh received threats to end Gavlak's career if she didn't retract her story.
They "came from a third party," said Watson. Gavlak said "most likely (it's) on behalf of Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan."
AP "indefinitely suspended" her without comment. According to Muhawesh, she "confirmed with several colleagues and Jordanian government officials that the Saudis have been supplying rebels with chemical weapons."
He added that:
"On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation were at risk."
"She continued to say that these third parties were demanding (she) disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career."
She held firm. She refused to do so. Yahya Ababneh interviewed Ghouta insurgents. According to Muhawesh:
He "recently notified me that the Saudi embassy contacted him and threatened to end his career if he did a follow up story on who carried out the most recent chemical weapons attack and demanded that he stop doing media interviews in regards to the subject."
Saudi Arabia's waging war on Assad. It's supplying funding, heavy weapons and chemical ones to do so. Another previous article said the following:
Syrian forces seized a warehouse. It contained barrels marked "Made in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)." Protective masks were found. So were drugs used when inhaling chemicals.
"The Qatari-German Company for Pharmaceutical Industries (was) inscribed on them."
Throughout long months of conflict, Assad's been wrongfully blamed for insurgents' crimes many times. They bear full responsibility for numerous chemical weapons attacks.
Assad committed none of them. Russia knows and says so. It has evidence proving it. Claims otherwise by Washington, Britain, France, Israel, and complicit allies ring hollow.
At stake is preventing more war. It's preventing the entire region from becoming embroiled. It bears endless repetitions. It's preventing possible WW III. What's more important than that!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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