Russia Accuses West of Blocking Steps to Protect Syrian Chemicals From Rebels

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 9, 2014, 6:52 a.m.

Rus­sia has ac­cused West­ern powers of lim­it­ing their ef­forts to guard Syr­i­an chem­ic­al-arms ship­ments against rebel forces, IT­AR-Tass re­ports.

The Rus­si­an for­eign min­istry on Tues­day de­fen­ded a de­cision by its Dam­as­cus ally to pause chem­ic­al-weapon trans­fers to Syr­ia’s Latakia sea­port after op­pos­i­tion forces pushed in­to nearby ter­rit­ory in March. For­eign trans­port ves­sels are pick­ing up war­fare chem­ic­als from the port city for de­struc­tion abroad un­der a dis­arm­a­ment plan backed last year by Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s gov­ern­ment.

Rus­sia in­dic­ated it had tried un­suc­cess­fully to con­vince West­ern gov­ern­ments “to ex­ert in­flu­ence on the op­pos­i­tion for nor­mal­iz­ing the situ­ation” in the sur­round­ing province, where rebels had made mil­it­ary gains.

“In par­tic­u­lar, the West­ern part­ners re­jec­ted Rus­sia’s pro­pos­al for a spe­cial state­ment by the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil chair­man,” ac­cord­ing to Mo­scow.

Rus­si­an of­fi­cials ad­ded, though, that chem­ic­al-arms ship­ments in­to Latakia had re­sumed, In­ter­fax re­por­ted. Dam­as­cus placed an ad­di­tion­al 64 met­ric tons of its stocks in in­ter­na­tion­al cus­tody last week, mean­ing it has sur­rendered 59 per­cent of its stock­pile, the for­eign min­istry stated.

The of­fice said gov­ern­ments would meet an in­ter­na­tion­al goal to elim­in­ate the As­sad re­gime’s chem­ic­al stock­pile be­fore Ju­ly “if no more hos­til­it­ies are en­countered on [chem­ic­al] con­voys.”

In Wash­ing­ton, U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry on Tues­day at­temp­ted to de­flect con­gres­sion­al cri­ti­cism of the plan to elim­in­ate the Syr­i­an stocks, Time magazine re­por­ted. As­sad’s gov­ern­ment agreed to the pro­pos­al after a re­lease of sar­in nerve agent in a Dam­as­cus sub­urb last year promp­ted dis­cus­sion of po­ten­tial mil­it­ary in­ter­ven­tion in Syr­ia’s civil war.

“Would you rather drop a few bombs, send a mes­sage, and then have him [As­sad] still with the [chem­ic­al] weapons and the ca­pa­city to de­liv­er them, or would you rather get all of them out?” Kerry asked at a Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee hear­ing.

When asked wheth­er he favored pos­sible armed ac­tion in Syr­ia, Kerry said “there is a ca­pa­city to change As­sad’s cal­cu­la­tion.” He de­clined to elab­or­ate at the hear­ing.

What We're Following See More »
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×