Russia warns the West not to arm Syria´s rebel fighters (INDEPENDENT UK) ALASTAIR BEACH 04/05/12)
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Russia yesterday claimed the West was undermining the work of
international peace envoy Kofi Annan, warning Britain and her allies
not to arm Syria´s rebels as a deadline for implementing an
international peace plan approaches.
Moscow´s Foreign Minister claimed that even if Western nations
decided to "arm the Syrian opposition to the teeth", rebel fighters
would be powerless to vanquish the better armed and still largely
loyal national army. "The carnage will go on for many years," warned
His comments came as yet more civilians were killed by shellfire and
gun battles across the country, with President Bashar al-Assad
refusing so far to abide by the terms of Mr Annan´s peace initiative
and withdraw his tanks and troops from besieged towns, despite
promising to accede to the terms of a ceasefire proposed by the
former UN Secretary General.
Heavy machine gun fire was heard across the old city of Homs
yesterday, while according to the British-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights, a man, 50, and his younger brother were killed in
the north west Idlib province when soldiers opened fire on their car
from a tank.
Russia´s criticism followed an announcement this week from "Friends
of Syria" group of Western and Arab nations that they would be
creating a fund for the Syrian opposition.
n A former goalkeeper for the Syrian national team has said that
athletes from his country do not want to compete in this year´s
London Olympics because they "don´t want to play for a flag they have
no pride or faith in". In an interview with ITV News, Abdelbasset
Saroot, 20, spoke out against the ongoing violence in Syria, and said
that many competitors are taking part only because they fear
repercussions if they refuse. (©independent.co.uk 04/05/12)
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