Syria: Did Russia Just Put Troops on the Ground?

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Russia Today is excited this morning about the delivery of 75 armored trucks to Syria to transport chemical stocks to the port of Lattakia for shipment and destruction.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said, “Over the three days from December 18-20 we have airlifted to the Latakia airport 75 vehicles, including 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armored trucks.”

The Minister said, “It took 38 flights to Syria to deliver the materiel (sic).”

Even more interesting, however, is Shoigu’s reference to “the troops on the ground, which provided security for the operation” and the “water reservoirs, field kitchens, tents and other things” that the troops need.

RIA Novosti’s Russian service has a few more details of the operation, quoting Shoigu as saying that the Russian troops will transport the chemical weapons from Latakia port.

So will all the troops be departing Syria along with the chemical stocks or will some of them be staying behind?

“ONLY DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION WILL MAINTAIN SYRIA AS A SECULAR, SOVEREIGN STATE WITH TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY”

The announcement by Moscow that it is sending military forces to Syria to help dispose of Assad’s chemical weapons stocks comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week that Russia believed there was no military solution to the Syrian crisis.

Lavrov also reiterated Moscow’s line that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Assad regime must have a central role in a diplomatic solution, noting that the “Syrian people” must decide their own future — in “dialog with the Syrian Government”.

In an interview with Russia’s Interfax news agency, reprinted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Lavrov said:

We are convinced that only the start of the political process on the basis of the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, unanimously approved by UN Security Council resolution 2118, provides a chance to stop the spiral of violence, to preserve Syria as a secular, sovereign state with territorial integrity, which will safeguard the rights of all ethnic, religious and political groups, and prevent deep destabilization of the Middle East region.

But the future of Syria should be determined — and this is clearly stated in the Geneva communique — by Syrians themselves in dialog between government and opposition, without external interference.

We see our main task as promoting favorable external conditions for the success of the convening of the international conference on Syria, scheduled for January 22, 2014. We are working closely with our American partners and the UN to support intensive contacts with other interested states. Especially now, we demand concerted action by all those who have influence on the Syrian side. We understand that it will be very difficult to achieve peace in Syria — because in addition to those Syrian parties, with representatives at the negotiating table, terrorists and extremists are also fighting in Syria, with whom which nobody is going to maintain a dialog. On the contrary, it is necessary to facilitate a pooling of efforts by the Government and the opposition against extremist forces in Syria.

I do not need to explain that to settle the Syrian crisis, address other pressing international problems, and ensure global stability, much depends on the willingness of the U.S. and Russia to work together.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “ONLY DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION WILL MAINTAIN SYRIA AS A SECULAR, SOVEREIGN STATE WITH TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY”

    I guess they don’t see the irony in this statement. If Russia is trying to impose a “secular” state on Syria would that not be a violation of sovereignty that they claim to value so highly? Is it now Russia’s place to say Syria must have a secular leader at any cost even if a large portion of the population wants something or someone different? That appears to be a ploy to maintain that the only options are secularists or extremists as if there is absolutely no middle ground. They don’t seem to have a problem working with shia extremists in Iran to uphold a “secular” government. Yeah just ask Iran if a “secular” government is a must. After watching Saddam and Assad it seems to me that those claiming to be secular are just as brutal as extremists if not more brutal. Despite their lofty rhetoric about “sovereignty” Russia hardly has a record of respecting other countries sovereignty and trying to portray themselves as protectors of sovereignty is hysterical. Especially while they shamelessly occupy sovereign Georgian soil. It must be a bad joke. I hope there aren’t too many people who buy the rubbish Russia is selling.

  2. Obama: “Can I do anything to assist in your sectarian genocide?”

    The avoe More proof that there are no limits on Obama’s support for sectarian genocide against Sunnis in Syria. Whatever crimes his good pals (Assad, Putin, Khamenei) wish to carry out there are fine with him.

    • RT,
      IMO, watch the sale of weapons to Saudi and you’ll be able to measure Obama’s true intent. Support, indifference, or opposition? The saudi deal for tank missiles is a politically safe way for him to support the rebels. It is also a politically safe way for him to stall or delay international involvement.

      It is virtually guaranteed that Saudi, with an ample supply of modern weapons coming in the front door will be dumping the old weapons to fight against a persian crescent. So, if obama wishes to support the rebels then he makes the deal go through as quickly and smoothly as possible.

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