Moscow warns of 'sad fate' for Damascus

Aug. 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM
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MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Russia's representative to NATO said the Western alliance might be ready for a Syrian assault after the Russian president warned of a "sad fate" for Damascus.

Members of the U.N. Security Council this week issued a strong statement condemning the brutality in Syria. The Syrian military is waging a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters, leaving at least 1,000 people dead since early this year.

Russia, China and other Security Council members are said to oppose a full resolution at the Security Council out of fear any Syrian measure would ultimately result in a protracted conflict like the one in Libya.

Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian envoy to NATO, said he believed the statement was a prelude to another NATO assault.

"(The statement) means that the planning (of the military campaign) is well under way, he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying. He added that NATO is bent on meddling in the affairs of regimes "whose views do not coincide with those of the West."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to enact meaningful and concrete reforms in the country or Moscow would be forced to act.

Medvedev warned that if Assad didn't take unilateral action, the Syrian president was destined to "a sad fate and ultimately we will also have to make some kind of decisions."

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