Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Russia accuses Libya of training Syrian rebels

The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (file photo)

The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin has accused Libya of training and arming the Syrian rebels in their fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Russian envoy made the remarks during a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.
"We have received information that in Libya, with the support of the authorities, there is a special training center” for the Syrian rebels “and people are sent to Syria to attack the legal government," Churkin said.

"This is completely unacceptable...This activity is undermining stability in the Middle East," he added.

The accusation comes after a document recently released by the whistleblower website, Wikileaks, revealed that undercover US-led NATO forces were operating inside Syria against the Syrian government.

According to the confidential document, an analyst working for the US-based intelligence firm, Stratfor, claimed that in December last year he had attended a meeting in the Pentagon where he learned that US-led NATO troops were already on the ground in Syria, training armed rebels.

President Assad said on Tuesday that foreign forces were seeking to undermine the Syrian government.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces.

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the government of killing protesters.

The United States and a number of other Western countries, including the UK and France, as well as countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have supported measures against the Syrian government.
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