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Posts Tagged ‘Opposition’

​Over 5,000 Kalashnikovs, other guns stolen from Ukrainian military bases – report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 15, 2014

Reuters / Eduard Kornienko:

kalashnikov-2.si

Fears of possible armed assaults and provocation in Ukraine and neighboring countries are on the rise after yet another report that rocket grenade launchers, firearms and munitions have been stolen from a military warehouse in western Ukraine.

A source in the Ukrainian Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that the coup appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has recently been notified that a large cache of guns and ammunition was missing from one of the military warehouses.

“Reports to Avakov indicate that over 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 2,741 Makarov handguns, 123 light machineguns and 12 Shmel rocket launchers were stolen from the Interior Troops’ depots in the Lvov Region in late February,” the source said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria urges UN to prevent ‘US-led foreign aggression’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2013

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

The UN is under growing pressure from Syria to do its job and prevent an American “war of aggression,” and the Arab League demanding punishment for “war criminals” in the Syrian government.

  The two identical letters delivered to the UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council, Maria  Cristina Perceval call on the international body to maintain its  role of protector of international legitimacy and prevent US-led  aggression against Damascus, Syria’s permanent representative to  the UN Bashar al-Jaafari told Sana.

The Syrian government continues to deny any use of chemical  weapons on the civilian population, with Jaafari reminding of  Syria’s cooperation with the UN on this issue, which was often  downplayed and twisted in the western media.
“The Syrian government is the first side who asked the UN  Secretary General to form an objective investigation team to  investigate the use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal in  Aleppo,” Bashar al-Jaafari said, adding that they warned,   “more than a year ago, against the serious risks of the  possibility of using chemical materials by the armed terrorist  groups in Syria.”      Despite the Syrian government’s swift permission for the UN  investigation team to probe the site of the alleged attack on  August 21, some “foreign countries” launched an anti-Assad  campaign accusing government forces of slaughtering their own  people, Jaafari said.
“Syria has informed, in official letters, the UN Secretary  General and the UNSC about the activities of these groups, which  coincided with a political, diplomatic and media campaign led by  some countries which are directly responsible for shedding the  blood in Syria and preventing the peaceful solution in order to  accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapon,” he  added.

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA) Read the rest of this entry »

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Assad: Erdogan thinks he’s Caliph, new sultan of the Ottoman (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2012

Bashar Assad speaking with RT′s Sophie Shevardnadze
Bashar Assad speaking with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze

In an exclusive interview with RT, President Bashar Assad said that the conflict in Syria is not a civil war, but proxy terrorism by Syrians and foreign fighters. He also accused the Turkish PM of eyeing Syria with imperial ambitions.

Assad told RT that the West creates scapegoats as enemies – from communism, to Islam, to Saddam Hussein. He accused Western countries of aiming to turn him into their next enemy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Military intervention in Syria will lead to catastrophe – Lavrov

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 19, 2012

Military action in Syria will lead to catastrophe, Russia’s Foreign Minister has said. Russia opposes US demands for a no-fly zone over Syria, he said, adding that the solution to the ongoing conflict is the Geneva accord peace plan.

The international community reached an agreement in Geneva in June calling for a transitional government in Syria to bring an end to ongoing and bloody conflict in the country.

Different interpretations of the document began to emerge shortly after the accord was adopted, with Washington insisting that the document required that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power. Moscow contested this interpretation, saying the document made no such claim.

“Statements, saying the document [Geneva accord] is as good as dead imply that someone seeks a pretext for military intervention. This is worrying as it can only lead to catastrophe in the region,” Lavrov said in an interview with Sky News Arabic.

Any proposal that stipulates the disarmament of only one party in the conflict was “unrealistic,” he said, adding that“Such proposals are aimed at regime change and not at curtailing the conflict and saving Syrian lives.”

Russia does not support the Assad regime, but rather works in the interest of the Syrian people and regards ending the ongoing violence in the country as its priority, Lavrov said. Moscow also rejects the imposition of any no-fly zone over Syria as a violation of Syrian sovereignty, he said, referencing recent statements by Washington. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia, China veto western-backed Syria resolution at UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that threatened Syria with more sanctions.

­It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to block resolutions on Syria. There were 11 votes in favor of the resolution. Russia and China voted against it, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained from voting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syrian rebels attack govt HQ, Assad’s whereabouts unknown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

•  Assad reported to be in Latakia directing response to killings
• Delayed UN security council vote due to take place
• Obama calls Putin to discuss crisis

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

Clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters are taking place near the government headquarters in Syria’s capital Damascus.

At least one person has reportedly been killed in the fighting in the Ikhlas neighborhood adjacent to the Council of Ministers, says Reuters.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the opposition damaged one helicopter and disabled three military vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putin signs new anti-rally bill

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 9, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

                                                                       Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

The Russian President has signed the much disputed set of amendments to the administrative code that increase the fines for illegal rallies 150-fold and introduces more regulations over street protest.

Putin announced that he had signed the bill as he spoke at the conference dedicated to the development of the Russian court system. The head of the Russian state told the justice officials that they “should apply the new law in such a way that it does not limit the citizens’ right for expression over any issue of internal or external politics, including street marches, events and rallies”. At the same time, Putin stressed that the protests “must be organized in such way that they inflict no damages to other citizens, who do not take part in them”.

Putin reminded the audience about last year’s events in Great Britain “when it all came to mass riots, torched cars and robbed stores”“As the society guarantees the right to express their opinion, including by street events, to some of the citizens, it must protect other citizens and the society as a whole from radicalism,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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High price of transparency: $300 million webcam experiment to ensure fair Russian vote

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 4, 2012

A massive 200,000 webcam network and half-a million observers are contributing to what is being billed as Russia’s most transparent election yet.

The observant army is a response to angry protesters who chanted ‘we don’t forget and we don’t forgive’ after December’s parliamentary vote. They believe the election was rigged.

In response, the authorities decided webcams at all 98,000 polling-stations would solve the problem. Russian tax payers have forked out over US$300 million for the online monitoring system, doubling the initial cost of the vote. The election is now officially the most transparent – and the most expensive – in the nation’s history, but not everyone is convinced.

Webcams: 2012 election highlight

Some believe installing cameras was an excessive measure, saying past elections were fair enough.

“Cameras won’t change anything, there will always be discontent. It was honest before even without cameras,”believes one Russian voter. And another argues that this will hardly make the vote more transparent, as it was “only made to please the opposition.” Others are of the opinion that the cameras are meaningless given the vast number of polling stations, and installing cameras at all of them will just make things more complicated.

Indeed, one of the main concerns about the CCTV system is whether it can serve a country as expansive as Russia. Hacker attacks on the website which will broadcast their footage shortly before the polls opened only added to these concerns.

Vladimir Kremlev for RT
Vladimir Kremlev for RT Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Beijing will not tolerate US pressure on Syria’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 18, 2012

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Athens burns, buildings on fire as chaos, riots flare up (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 13, 2012

The worst riot damage in years has struck Athens as MPs pass harsh new austerity measures. Dozens of historic buildings were set ablaze after riots turned chaotic overnight in Greek capital with protesters looting shops and clashing with riot police. Read the rest of this entry »

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15,000 elite Iranian special-ops ‘head’ to Syria

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 10, 2012

AFP Photo / Fars News / Str

The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is expecting up to 15,000 Iranian troops to help maintain order in the country’s provinces, a Chinese newspaper reports. Iran has yet to confirm or deny the news.

According to the central Chinese daily Renmin Ribao, the Iranian special task troops are due to be deployed in Syria’s key provinces.

The Syrian opposition announced earlier that commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, advises the Syrian authorities on quashing the country’s opposition movement, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers, who operated in Iraq and other wars on foreign soil. The Quds is reportedly in charge of training and funding Hezbollah.       Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria: White House preaches peace as Pentagon preps for war

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 8, 2012

A US Marine Corps F-35 Lightening II multirole fighter jet is escorted by two USMC F-18 Hornets as it flies towards Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this U.S. Air Force handout photo dated January 11, 2012 (Reuters / DoD / U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago / Handout)

A US Marine Corps F-35 Lightening II multirole fighter jet is escorted by two USMC F-18 Hornets as it flies towards Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this U.S. Air Force handout photo dated January 11, 2012 (Reuters / DoD / U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago / Handout)

The White House is saying “no” to arming opposition and other military involvement in the Syrian conflict – for the moment. Pentagon and US Central Command launched a review of US military capabilities in case that “no” turns a “yes.”

The backdoor for military action was ajar with State Department, spokesman Victoria Nuland saying that US never takes any option off the table, even though they “don’t think more arms into Syria is the answer.” It appears the Pentagon has a similar view, as it has reportedly launched a full-scale review of its available military might.

Two senior administration officials told CNN that “options are being prepared in the event President Barack Obama was to call for them.” Support for opposition groups and outright military strikes are among the options being looked at.

This type of planning exercise is typical for the Pentagon, which would not want to be in the position of not having options for the president, if and when they are asked for, both officials told CNN. One of them called the effort a “scoping exercise,” with Pentagon looking into what capabilities are available given other US military commitments in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

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Frozen fury: Day of mass-rallies in Moscow despite -20 (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 5, 2012

Thousands have braved freezing temperatures in Moscow to march for free and democratic presidential elections. They accuse the government of planning a fraud. A separate pro-government rally elsewhere in the capital has also attracted thousands.

Throughout last week, volunteers distributed leaflets calling on people to join the march “For Fair Elections.” Coming exactly a month before Russia’s presidential poll, the rally is the third of its kind sanctioned by city authorities since anger erupted over alleged vote-rigging in December’s State Duma elections. Security in the capital has been stepped up, with some 9,000 officers on the streets.

‘For Fair Elections’

The event, which started with a march down Yakimanka Street and continued with a rally at Bolotnaya Square, has attracted at least 34,000 people, according to estimates.  Other sources put the figures higher, at up to 50,000.

Watch RT’s exlusive photo report from rallies in Moscow

This, however, is considerably smaller than the record set at the December protest rally in Sakharov Avenue, which attracted some 100,000 supporters. The bitter Russian cold may have had a dampening effect on the protest mood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pro-Gaddafi forces capture Bani Walid, 5 NTC troops killed – report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 23, 2012

Files picture dated September 22, 2011 shows Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters launching a rocket towards Bani Walid from their outpost at the entrance of the city (AFP Photo / Joseph Eid)

Fighters loyal to late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have clashed with revolutionary forces in the former-regime stronghold of Bani Walid, taking control of the city in the process.

The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil today warned of the threat of another civil war.

At least five NTC troops were killed and 30 others injured in the violence, Interfax reports.

M’barek al-Fotmani, a local official, says the pro-Gaddafi rebels who seized control of Bani Walid were using heavy weaponry including 106mm anti-tank weapons.

He also said that authorities called for help when the attack began, but the NTC did not send any troops.

There are between 100 and 150 men armed with heavy weapons who are attacking. We have asked for the army to intervene, but the Defense Ministry and NTC have let us down,” he told Agence France Press.

“We’re out of the frying pan into the fire. We’ve been warning about this for the past two months,” he added.

Witnesses say the violence erupted on Monday after Gaddafi loyalists, angry over the arrest of one of their men, attacked pro-revolution fighters.

The town of Bani Walid was one of the last bastions of pro-Gaddafi force in Libya’s eight-month civil war.

The clashes came after mass protests in the city of Benghazi over the weekend and the subsequent resignation of NTC deputy chief Abdel Hafiz Ghoga. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria sanctions: EU extends asset freeze, travel ban

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 23, 2012

Syrian demonstrators waving Syrian flags and holding pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a pro-regime rally in Damascus (AFP Photo / HO)

EU foreign ministers have adopted fresh sanctions against Syria, targeting a new list of people and firms to be hit by a travel ban and asset freeze. This is the 11th consecutive round of sanctions to be imposed on the violence-torn country.

Under the new sanctions, agreed on Monday, so-called “restrictive measures” will be enforced against eight more Syrian companies and 22 senior officials, who will be added to an existing blacklist. The companies’ European assets will be frozen, and individuals will be barred from entering the EU.

“We call again for the violence to stop, for the (Arab League) monitors to be able to do their job unheeded,” said European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton as she went into talks with the EU’s 27 foreign ministers.“We’re deeply concerned with the situation in Syria,” she added. “There needs to be a peaceful transition in that country.”

An official announcement on the sanctions is expected later today. No details were immediately available on the identities of the new targets.

The EU has already agreed 10 rounds of sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, with some 120 people and companies targeted so far by an EU assets freeze and travel ban. It is also enforcing an arms embargo and a ban on imports of Syrian crude oil. Read the rest of this entry »

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