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Posted by neverquit , in Syria, Russia 19 March 2012 · 100 views

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 Iman replaced another Russian ship "which had been sent to Syria for demonstrating (sic) the Russian presence in the turbulent region and possible evaluation 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 US and to the UN 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.


I'm researching some of this a bit and will have some commentary later.
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Probably moving in to secure some WMD's.
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From our friends at Pravda:

U.S. / NATO forces have invaded Syria

Russia accuses Libya terrorists of exporting terrorists

Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN: "It is completely unacceptable. This practice is undermining stability in the Middle East..."

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has accused Libya of training and arming rebels fighting against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A reminder, with the assistance of NATO, terrorists in Libya are now conducting a wholesale business of training terrorists for export to wherever they might be needed, having been recent trainees of NATO themselves.

NATO used its considerable air power to pronounce them the "government" of Libya, while the terrorist "government" controls less than 85 percent of Libya.

The Russian envoy made ​​the accusation at a meeting of the Security Council yesterday, the fourth Monday.

"We have information that in Libya, with support from the 'authorities', there is a special training center for Syrian rebels, and groups are sent from there to Syria, to attack the legal government," said Churkin. He added: "It is completely unacceptable. This practice is undermining stability in the Middle East."

The charge appears after the website Wikileaks recently published a document that revealed that there are covert operations underway by U.S. and NATO forces inside Syria, against the government.

In a private message now released, an analyst working for the Texan company, Stratfor, says that in December of last year, he attended a meeting at the Pentagon where he heard that U.S. / NATO soldiers \were inside of Syrian territory, giving training to armed rebels.

On the 3rd Thursday, President Assad said that foreign troops were trying to weaken the Syrian government.

Since mid-March 2011, Syria has faced violence that has resulted in hundreds dead, including many soldiers and security agents.

Damascus blames "mercenaries, armed saboteurs and terrorists" for the assault, which, for the Syrian government, is being orchestrated from abroad.

The U.S. and several Western countries, including Britain and France, as well as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, supported action against the Syrian government.

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September 2014

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