Russia has backed away from is hardline stance of standing behind Iran and Syria against a western military invasion, following weeks of warnings to respect the sovereignty of those nations.
Iran’s state TV is reporting that Russian has frozen Iranian bank accounts at the same time Russian officials change their stance on Syria, back the UN and saying they will not intervene against a military invasion.
Press TV quotes Russia foreign ministry spokesman saying the freezing of the accounts may be due to Russia bowing to EU sanctions against Iran, but more than likely western forces have negotiated a deal with Russia behind the scenes to get their approval to sack Syria and Russia.
Not only has Russia taken an about face from their hardline stance of telling the US and its allies to keep their hand off Iran, they are now openly giving the go ahead for a military invasion of Syria calling the government the ‘Assad Titanic’ while referring to him as a dead man who will soon be in a coffin.
With Russia now abandoning Iran and Syria, the US can work on the prerequisites of invading Iran – taking out Syria.
Here’s a round up of the news.
Bloomberg reports Russia has announced backing the UN stance on Syria while quoting Russia’s leaders as referring to the Assad leadership as the “Titanic” and calling Assad a dead man.
Syria Reported to Take Homs on Rebels’ Retreat as Russia Backs UN Stance
Hours earlier, the United Nations Security Council issued its first unified statement on Syria in seven months, demanding that President Bashar al-Assad allow access for humanitarian aid. The Security Council statement was backed by Russia, possibly signaling a shift from its steady defense of Assad.
Russia Is Key
Russia’s stance on Syria is “a key element of how this goes forward,” saidJeffrey Feltman, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs. The Russians “can use their influence inside Syria to be part of the solution,” he said.
‘The Assad Titanic’
“It seems to us that Russia is not going to preserve those interests that it deems important if it rides the Assad Titanic all the way to the bottom of the Mediterranean,” he said.
Putin told the London-based Times in an interview that “we need to make sure they stop killing each other.” The Times cited Putin as saying “we only have interest in the conflict being resolved.”
Russia goes on to say outright they are green lighting the Syrian invasion.
Russia’s Putin backs away from Syria’s Assad
MOSCOW—Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of fueling the Syrian conflict by backing government opposition, but his foreign ministry said it will not protect Syria from military intervention.
“Do they want Assad to pull out his forces so the opposition moves right in?” Putin said at during a meeting with editors of top Western newspapers in remarks released by his office and carried by state television Friday. “Is it a balanced approach?”
While staunchly protecting Assad from United Nations sanctions, Russia has made it clear that it will not be able to stop other countries from launching a military intervention if they try to do it without UN approval.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Friday that Russia will not provide any kind of military assistance to Syria in such a situation. Commenting on a Soviet-era treaty which contained Moscow’s vague promise to help Syria if it comes under attack, he said the document only envisages consultations.
“There is no talk about us offering military assistance,” Lukashevich said in a statement. “Russia isn’t going to do anything of the kind.”
Putin ridiculed Western demands of Assad, saying the next thing they want will be for the Syrian leader “to grab a wooden mackintosh and have music play in his house.” A wooden mackintosh, or trenchcoat, was a jovial term used in Soviet-era comedy movies to mean coffin.
Assad “will not hear (the music) because it will be his funeral,” he said. “He will never agree to that demand.”
Source: The Daily Star
On the freezing of the bank accounts:
Russian bank blocks Iran embassy accounts in Moscow
(Press TV) – A Russian state-controlled bank has closed down the accounts of Iranian embassy staff in Moscow in obvious submission to unilateral sanctions imposed by the West against Iran.
Iran’s Ambassador to Moscow Seyyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi was quoted byDow Jones as criticizing the measure on Friday, accusing the Russian bank of surrendering to US-led financial sanctions against Tehran.
He added that shutting down the embassy’s accounts were ordered at short notice by VTB 24, the retail banking arm of Russia’s second-largest bank VTB, and even his own credit card has been blocked.
“The bank said that this was an order from their top management, and they couldn’t do anything about it,” Sajjadi wrote in a blog post.
“This behavior on the bank’s part is ill-mannered, unprofessional and characteristics of Third World countries. Even banks in Britain and France are not ready to take such liberties with our embassy employees,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from VTB 24 said the move was a “purely economic” one, saying the bank’s wage project with the embassy was being closed because it is unprofitable.
The embassy had been informed a week in advance of the closure, he claimed.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, however, stated that the move may be the result of US and EU sanctions.
The Russian bank’s measure comes after EU foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to impose new sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s oil and financial sections.
The EU decision followed the imposition of similar sanctions by the US government on December 31, 2011, which aimed to punish countries for doing business with Iran’s central bank or importing its crude oil.
The US, Israel and their European allies charge Iran with pursuing a military nuclear program under the cover of its civilian nuclear energy program. Tehran rejects such charges, arguing that as a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is entitled to peaceful applications of the nuclear energy.
Iran’s nuclear energy program is under tight control of IAEA, which has never been able to provide evidence of diversion in Iran’s nuclear energy program towards a weapons program.
With Russia now backing the UN game plan, western forces will use the Syria National Council to prepare for the invasion of Syria.
The SNC is a London-based organization launched by the western forces at the Friends Of Syria meeting, with the game plan of sidestepping the UN to invade Syria.
It mission is to gather all Syrian rebel forces under a single umbrella – the Syria National Council based in London – so they can be supplied weapons and other necessary equipment needed to “defend themselves”
As previously reported, the SNC is an umbrella organization formed by the US and its allies to unified the Syria rebels under a single organization. The organization has been officially recognized by the EU as representative government of Syria.
AS USA Today reported 21 hours ago, the group is abandoning its “nonviolent resistance” and will now be seeking arms.
Umbrella group to bolster Syrian opposition with weapons
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Syrian National Council, which has been opposing the regime of Bashar Assad with non-violent means, said Thursday that it was abandoning that stance and will aid the flow of weapons to revolutionaries. The announcement from the Paris-based group came as rebels retreated Thursday from a battered area of Homs following a punishing, month-long military assault.
Source: USA Today
The media is now openly reporting that the SNC will smuggle arms through Turkey to arm the rebels and coordinate their attacks.
SNC seeks arms office in Turkey
Syrian opposition says that it will deliver weapons to rebels to fight against al-Assad forces from a military bureau that will be ‘probably’ based in Turkey
The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said yesterday it wanted to organize weapons deliveries to Syrian rebels and was uniting armed factions fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime under a new bureau, which will “probably be located in Turkey.”
Speaking to reporters in Paris, SNC chief Burhan Ghalioun said a new “military bureau” announced Feb. 29 would coordinate the armed resistance and act as a conduit for foreign countries seeking to send arms. Turkey will probably host the new military bureau, Ghalioun said, Agence France-Presse reported.
“This military bureau will be located as close as possible to the field of action, probably in Turkey,” Ghalioun said.
Turkey representative of the SNC, Khaled Khoja, has also confirmed the military coordination bureau would most probably be located in Turkey. “The coordination bureau cannot be opened anywhere else than Turkey because the people that will be assigned to the bureau have to work in coordination with the leaders of the Free Syrian Army, Riad al-Asaad and Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh, the leader of the ‘Higher Revolutionary Council.’ And they both live in the camp in Turkey,” Khoja told Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview yesterday.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the information regarding the location of the bureau yet. Ministry sources have said they did not receive any request for a military bureau of the SNC in Turkey.
Ghalioun said the new military bureau would bring together the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other groups of deserters. He said both Riad al-Asaad and al-Sheikh had “agreed to be part of this bureau.”
“Its [the bureau’s] mission will be to see which arms are necessary and for which missions,” he said. “We will determine our requests, our needs for arms and we will see which country to get them from.”
Source: Hürriyet Daily News
CNN is also warming the public up to a direct military intervention in Syria.
By Barbara Starr
The Pentagon has drawn up “detailed plans” developed to carry out military action against the Syrian regime, if ordered by President Obama, according to a senior U.S. official. The crucial progress in military planning comes after several weeks of initial analysis by the Pentagon of what the official says are a “full range of options.”
The detailed plans for each option include more precise concepts of how a variety of operations could be carried out, as well as estimates of the numbers of personnel, types of units and military equipment and weapons that could potentially be needed.
The planning behind the scenes comes as the United States continues to pursue diplomatic and political solutions, including trying to pressure Syria’s President Basher al-Assad to step aside.
As CNN previously reported, American officials say they are intercepting communications by regime leaders and the Syrian security apparatus, including the military. So far the decision is to not jam those communications because they provide intelligence about the regime’s actions.[…]The United States is also intercepting the communications of operatives of al Qaeda in Iraq operatives now in Syria and believed to be part of a network of operatives responsible for recent attacks. A small group of al Qaeda in Iraq operatives have been “pushed into Syria” to carry out intelligence and reconnaissance against Syrian targets and subsequent bombing attacks.
The first indication of the intelligence campaign came with the release of low resolution imagery showing Syrian forces in and around cities where civilians had been attacked. Officials acknowledge there is more high resolution classified imagery showing the situation in great detail. This capability is allowing the United States to monitor the movement of Syrian forces, assess their command and control units, air defenses, security of their chemical and biological facilities and ability to resupply their troops.
“We can see a crack on your sidewalk,” said yet another official of the imagery capabilities.