Syria army reinforces, Russia lashes out to US
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
Syrians run for cover as a helicopter hovers over the of Aleppo which become a new front in the country’s uprising. AFP photoThe Syrian army sent reinforcements to Aleppo yesterday to join the intensifying battle for the country’s second city, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at the United States for backing the armed opposition.
Lavrov said that Washington’s failure to condemn the July 18 bombing meant it was justifying terror. “This is quite an awful position, I cannot even find the words to make clear how we feel,” Lavrov told reporters. “This is directly justifying terrorism. How can this be understood?” He criticised the US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, saying she had argued that the attacks in Damascus meant the UN Security Council had to agree a sanctions resolution against Syria last week that Russia later vetoed.
“In other words, to say it in plain Russian, this means ‘we (the United States) will continue to support such terrorist acts for as long as the UN Security Council has not done what we want’,” Lavrov said.
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, meanwhile, said he had stressed to Syrian officials in morning talks that without a significant reduction in violence, the remaining 150 observers would leave on the expiry of the “final” 30-day extension of the mission’s mandate agreed by the Security Council on July 20. Helicopter gunships strafed several neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital, causing deaths and injuries, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Clashes raged in the central Al-Jamaliya neighborhood, close to the local headquarters of the ruling Baath party. In Kalasseh, in the south of the city, rebels set fire to a police station, the Observatory said. Fighter jets overflew the city, breaking the sound barrier but not carrying out bombing raids, Observatory said.