Sunday, 3 June 2012

Putin again caught peddling lies - this time about arming Assad

Syria´s dictator Bashar al-Assad, who continues the mass killings of civilians in his country, must be delighted by his Russian friend Vladimir Putin´s assurances of support. 

Russia´s dictator, former second rate KGB spy Putin, still gives his full backing to the criminal Assad regime, although he is trying to hide his support by peddling these blatant lies to Western audiences: 

"All those who claim that [Russia] supports any particular regime -- in this case President Assad's regime -- are wrong," he said. "We have had good relations with Syria for many years but we do not support either side."

The Russian president also said that, while his country is selling weapons to Syria,  it "did not supply any arms [to Syria] that could be used in a civil conflict."
 US secretary of State Hillary Clinton has no illusions about Obama´s "reset partner":
Russia’s unrelenting support for the Bashar Al Assad regime is helping to slide Syria into civil war, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.
“We believe that the continuous supply of arms has strengthened the Al Assad regime,” she said.

In fact, just days before Putin came up with his lies, a Russian ship loaded with ammunition docked at the Russian naval base Taurus in Syria: 
Western officials confirmed information from Human Rights First that the ship arrived on Saturday, bringinge to the Syrian port of Tartus a cache of heavy weapons for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who for 14 months has used his security forces to attack an increasingly militarized opposition.

"Today's updated shipping databases show that the Professor Katsman did in fact dock in the port of Tartus on May 26, 2012 before heading to Piraeus, Greece," Sadia Hameed of Human Rights First told Reuters.
These are the sad facts about Russia´s arms deliveries to the mass murderer in Damascus
- Russia has been selling Syria weapons since the Soviet period, starting with the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
- However, Russia became Syria's main arms supplier after the fall of the Soviet Union, when Russia absolved Syria of $9.8 billion of its $13.4 billion debt in exchange for making Tartus a permanent Russian military base. Tartus is Russia´s only naval presence in the Mediterranen. 

- Currently, 10 percent of Russian global arms shipments head to Syria, and contracts are worth about $1.5 billion.

And this has happened after the Syrian uprising and Assad´s crackdown began in March, 2011:

- Shipments of small arms, which are harder for international agencies to trace, rise starting in March.
- Throughout 2011, Russia continued to sell Syria missile defense systems -- including the Buk-M2E surface-to-air missile system and Bastion-P coastal defense missile systems.
- Total weapons sales to Syria in 2011 reached $1 billion.

 The Chariot, a Russian flagged ship carrying arms from Rosoboronexport, heads for Tartus despite telling the European Unionthat it would change course. The ship is believed to be carrying sniper rifles. At that time, Syrian snipers were killing protestors in Homs, Damascus and other cities. (January 2012)

One can only wonder why Vladimir Putin still is received like a statesman in the West. He should be treated no less harshly than his friend Aleksander Lukashenko in Belarus.

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