‘Foreign military in Syria raises ghost of Libya’ — RT

10 February 2012‘Foreign military in Syria raises ghost of Libya’ — RT

Reports of a foreign military presence aggravating the situation in Syria have prompted a prominent Duma member to issue a warning about a disastrous repeat of the military intervention in Libya.

Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov spoke out following reports that a ‘foreign special task force’ has been dispatched to Syria in an effort to provide assistance to the political opposition.

‘According to the latest reports that are now being verified, a foreign special task force has been deployed in Syria,’ Pushkov told reporters on Friday. ‘If these reports are proved to be true, the scenario will be absolutely the same as it was in Libya.’

According to Pushkov, ‘they [the alleged foreign task force on the ground in Syria] are supporting the opposition and supplying them with arms; they propose an unbalanced resolution that places rigid conditions on Syria‘s ruling regime, while giving in to the demands of the opposition.’

Neither Russia, nor China, nor many other countries want a repeat of the Libyan scenario, he added.

The comments by the State Duma official come on the same day as Russian lawmakers are expected to adopt a draft statement on Syria.

‘The State Duma deputies support Russia’s official position…to facilitate the settlement of the conflict inside Syria,’ reads the draft, expected to be approved by the lower house’s four factions.

Proposed by the International Affairs Committee, the draft says that the State Duma ‘deems it extremely important for the UN, specifically for the Security Council, not to side with any party in the conflict.’

‘Such an unbalanced approach…would undermine the chances for an equitable and constructive dialogue,’ the document noted.

The draft statement went on to criticize the ‘ultimatums issued to only one side of the conflict,’ while, at the same time, calling for ‘regime change’ as a mandatory precondition for settling the unrest.

The Russian deputies say they condemn military intervention in the affairs of foreign countries and the imposition of solutions from outside.

‘Russia will not support a single document that implies or allows such intervention without the UN Security Council’s direct approval,’ the lawmakers said.

Russia has expressed alarm over the increasing tendency of foreign governments – notably NATO countries – to resolve internal conflicts in foreign countries through military force. The latest such intervention happened in Libya, which recently experienced a full-blown civil war.

Following the passage of a UN resolution on Libya that called for the protection of innocent civilians, NATO countries launched a massive aerial offensive that inflicted heavy casualties. Russia and other countries say NATO ‘overstepped its mandate’ by apparently taking the side of the militant opposition.

The NATO mission attracted further condemnation when video footage showed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi being taken alive by the National Liberation Army in Sirte, moments before being summarily executed by his captors.

Robert Bridge, RT

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