– Russia And Syria Deny Russian Ships, Special Forces In Syria (DayPress, Mar 20, 2012):
SYRIA- An official Syrian military source denied Monday from Damascus the reports that had been circulated by some media agencies about the arrival of Russian warships carrying military staffs to combat terrorism into the Syrian shores.
The source described those reports as categorically baseless and untrue.
“Those news come in the framework of the lie campaigns against Syria by some opposition sides and the countries that support them in order to cover the calls for the foreign intervention in the Syrian affairs,” the source told SANA in a statement.
In Moscow and on Monday too, the Russian Defense Ministry denied those reports too. Russian news agencies have quoted a source at the Ministry’s Media Department saying that “Russia was astonished at the reports circulated by some media about the presence of Russian warships near the Syrian coasts.” according to SANA report on Monday.
The Russian Defense Ministry source added that there are not any warships for the Russian navy near Syrian coast.
– Russian Anti-Terror Troops Arrive in Syria (ABC News, Mar 19, 2012):
A Russian military unit has arrived in Syria, according to Russian news reports, a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was “a bomb” certain to have serious repercussions.
Russia, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest allies despite international condemnation of the government’s violent crackdown on the country’s uprising, has repeatedly blocked the United Nations Security Council’s attempts to halt the violence, accusing the U.S. and its allies of trying to start another war.
Now the Russian Black Sea fleet’s Iman tanker has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-terror squad from the Russian Marines aboard according to the Interfax news agency. The Assad government has insisted it is fighting a terrorist insurgency. The Russian news reports did not elaborate on the Russian troops’ mission in Syria or if they are expected to leave the port.
The presence of Russian troops in Syria could be a “pretty obvious” show of support to the regime, according to Russian security expert Mark Galeotti.
“No one thinks of the Russians as anything but Assad’s last friends,” said Galeotti, professor of global affairs at New York University.
The Iman replaced another Russian ship “which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evacuation of Russian citizens,” the Black Sea Fleet told Interfax.
RIA Novosti, a news outlet with strong ties to the Kremlin, trumpeted the news in a banner headline that appeared only on its Arabic language website. The Russian embassy to the U.S. and to the U.N. had no comment, saying they have “no particular information on” the arrival of a Russian anti-terrorism squad to Syria.
Moscow has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Assad regime, to which it sells billions of dollars of weapons. In return Russia has maintained a Navy base at Tartus, which gives it access to the Mediterranean.
Last week Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no plans to send troops to Syria.
“As for the question whether I consider it necessary to confront the United States in Syria and ensure our military presence there… in order to take part in military actions — no. I believe this would be against Russia’s national interests,” Lavrov told lawmakers, according to RIA Novosti.
Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov denied reports that Russian special forces were operating inside Syria. He did say, however, that there are Russian military and technical advisors in the country.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the U.S. government had not heard of the reports of Russian troops in Syria and declined to comment.
Sending a clear message to Mossad, CIA, Al-CIAda, Blackwater on the ground in Syria …
Assad was an eye doctor in England until his father died, and he was called back to head the troubled government. Washington and Tel Aviv have demonized Assad for refusing to be their puppet.
An insurgent army which claims to be up to 15,000 strong is being coordinated from Turkey to take on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, which risks plunging the region into open warfare.
On record: Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’ (Video)
Looks like Syria, unlike Libya, will not be that easily ‘liberated’ (= butchered).