Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Russia: West is 'openly instigating' Syrian civil war

In a statement on Wednesday, Russian officials accused Western powers of doing nothing to end the conflict in Syria, saying they were instead instigating it.

By The Associated Press / August 22, 2012

Syrian Nasif Hashoum, 54, looks at the rubble of a house destroyed in a Syrian government airstrike in Anadan, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday. On Wednesday the Russian government released a statement accusing Western powers of instigating the conflict in Syria.

Muhammed Muheisen

Enlarge

Moscow

Russia accused Western powers Wednesday of "openly instigating" Syrian opposition groups to take up arms in their fight to unseat President Bashar Assad.

Skip to next paragraph

Moscow has been Syria's key protector throughout the 17-month uprising that has evolved into a full-blown civil war, shielding Assad's regime from international sanctions and providing it with weapons despite an international outcry.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said the West "has done nothing" to urge the Syrian opposition to start a dialogue with the government.

"Instead, they are engaged in openly instigating it to continue their armed struggle," it said in a statement.

It claimed that the Western approach to the Syrian civil war is "hypocritical" and is not helping to resolve the conflict that has killed an estimated 19,000 people.

Russia and China, both veto-wielding U.N. Security Council members, have blocked proposals to call on Assad to step down.

Russia has said that its opposition to sanctions against Syria is driven not by support for Assad himself, but by a respect for international law that forbids foreign military intervention in internal conflicts without U.N. Security Council authorization.

Russia has called for talks between the Syrian regime and its foes. It staunchly opposes any plans that would demand Assad's ouster, saying that only the Syrian people can decide the country's fate.

In New York, U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council that the United Nations views the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria "with growing alarm."

He said about 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance while the number of displaced people in Syria and the flow of refugees to neighboring countries is growing.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who visited Syria last week, told a news conference at U.N. headquarters that U.N. agencies last month provided food for more than 820,000 people across Syria.

"But when you're talking about 2.5 million people affected, we need to do a lot more," she said.

Feltman and Amos appealed for additional funds to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians still in the country and the refugees.

During her visit, Amos said she appealed to the Syrian government to allow international aid agencies to deliver food and humanitarian supplies to the needy.

But she said the government will only authorize aid from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local partners because it is worried that international aid will go to the rebels — despite her repeated assurances that humanitarian aid is neutral and impartial.

The deeply divided Security Council is scheduled to hold a ministerial-level meeting on Aug. 30 on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report from the United Nations.

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!