Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Saudi Arabia-backed groups stoke Syria unrest

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin (R)

Source: Press TV

Russia has accused Saudi-backed Salafist groups of inciting the Syrian unrest and warned against foreign interference in the internal affairs of Syria.

During an open session of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday, Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin also slammed the Arab League's (AL) decision to suspend its observer mission in Syria.

“We are concerned with the recent decision on the suspension of the … mission. As we understand, according to the leadership of the mission, this was linked to a recent outbreak of violence, as well as something which was on a Saudi TV station, that was a Salafist religious leader giving his blessing for spilling the blood of observers,” Churkin said.

Top AL officials, backed by the Western powers, attended the session in the hope to pass a fresh resolution against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia and China, however, have expressed opposition to the draft resolution based on concerns that this could eventually lead to a military action against Syria, similar to the NATO attacks on Libya in March 2011.

“We are convinced that at a time of extreme internal political crisis the role of the international community should not be one of exacerbating crisis,” Churkin said, adding that the Syrian nation should “be able to decide for itself.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, 2011.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters. Damascus, however, blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

The AL observers, tasked with monitoring the implementation of an Arab League resolution to help end the unrest in the Syria, began their mission on December 26, 2011.

The AL announced the suspension of its mission on Saturday.

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