Defense Minister: Syria Ready to Decisively Respond to Any Aggression
Syrian Defense Minister Fahd Jasem al-Freij said the Syrian army and people are ready to confront any form of military aggression on the country by Western powers, promising to decisively respond to any attack.Al-Freij
During a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hussein Dehghan, al-Freij stressed that criminal terrorists have deliberately used chemical weapons, killing women and innocent children to get more support from the West in order to blackout their defeat, thus misleading the public opinion to justify their continued crimes.
For his part, the Iranian defense Minister said that the main loser in any war in the region is the side which launches it.
“Iran is seriously following the security developments in the region and the crisis in the friendly country of Syria,” Dehghan said, affirming the need for making use of political and peaceful means to solve the crisis.
He underlined that the use of force and violence will only lead to escalating the crisis.
Italy Warns Syria Strikes Could Turn Conflict Global
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said on Friday that military strikes being planned against Syria risked escalating into “a global conflagration.”
“From a dramatic and terrible conflict, we run the risk of even a global conflagration,” she said in an interview with news channel SkyTG24.
“This is how it always begins. Limited strikes without a UN mandate. Syria will obviously react,” said Bonino, a former European aid commissioner.
“Even though it seems slower, tougher and sometimes looks like it won’t succeed, keeping up diplomatic and political pressure is the only solution,” she said.
Bonino has ruled out any Italian participation in strikes against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
Italy played a pivotal role as a launch pad for air strikes on Libya but government sources quoted in Italian media said it would likely not allow third countries to use its bases if asked to do so now.
Earlier this week she warned: “Even the option of a limited intervention risks becoming unlimited.”
Demonstrations In Several Countries: Hands OFF Syria!
Al Ahed news
Demonstrations have been held in several countries, including the United States, against potential Western-led military action against Syria.
Anti-war protests were held in several cities across the US on Thursday, including Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago. In New York City, supporters of the Syrian government gathered at Times Square chanting slogans against the US warmongering policies.
The demonstrators said the White House had failed to provide any proof that supported claims of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government.
“Where is the chemical weapons? Until now we didn’t find it. US soldiers will die for nothing. Where is the evidence?” said a protester holding a sign that read, “Syria=Iraq. Same Lies.
“I do not want this nation to become involved in yet another war. People always lose, no matter what side. Enough is enough. We should just stay the hell out,” said another anti-war demonstrator in New York City.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Greece marched on the US Embassy building in Athens to voice opposition to any Western military action on Syria.
In Turkey, protesters gathered outside the US consulate in the city of Adana to denounce Washington’s aggressive threats regarding Syria.
Similar demonstrations were also staged in Venezuela.
The Western calls for military action against Syria intensified after the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed on August 21 that hundreds had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in some suburbs of the capital, Damascus.
On Thursday, a meeting of the UN Security Council over the Syrian issue ended inconclusively.
Representatives from the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China met afternoon at the UN headquarters in New York for the second time in two days
The previous meeting on Wednesday also abruptly ended with the Security Council deeply divided over a British-proposed draft resolution to authorize military action against Syria.
The UK parliament on Thursday voted against a motion by British Prime Minister David Cameron to authorize military action against Syria.
The Western members of the Security Council have been pushing for a resolution on the use of force against Syria, but Russia and China are strongly opposed to any authorization of that kind.
Cameron Loses Parliamentary Vote on Syrian Strike, Swift Newspapers Reactions
Al Ahed news
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to launch an offensive against the Syrian government have been defeated in the Commons vote.
Cameron lost a government motion, backing a military intervention in the Arab country “if necessary”, by 272 votes to 285, after dozens of Tory MPs joined forces with the opposition Labour party.
“The House has not passed a motion, it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the government will act accordingly,” the British premier said on Thursday.
American officials said the US government is ready for unilateral military action, after British lawmakers rejected the motion in support of an assault against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus.
The British Prime Minister had played a leading role in persuading US President Barack Obama to start a military intervention in the Arab country.
British newspapers were swift to react to the commons vote, changing late print editions to run new splashes and comment.
The front page headlines make uncomfortable reading for prime minister David “I get that” Cameron. Every title refers to him being humiliated and that his authority has been diminished.
“The humbling of Cameron”, said the Daily Mail. “No to war, blow to Cameron”, said the Daily Telegraph. “CAM DOWN: PM humiliated as MPs say NO to military strikes”, said The Sun. Also, the headline of The Times underscored the same message: “Cameron humiliated as MPs veto missile strikes on Syria”.
“Shock commons defeat”, said the Daily Express in a page 1 blurb pointing to a piece inside headlined: “Cameron rocked as MPs say no to air strikes against Syria.” The paper also carried the result of an online opinion poll recording that a majority of the public were against military action.
A similar message was delivered by the non-Tory press: “We don’t want your war”, said the Daily Mirror. “MPs force Cameron to rule out British assault on Syria”, said The Guardian. The Financial Times’s splash heading said: “US ready to act alone as MPs reject Syria strike: Embarrassing vote defeat for Cameron”.
The Telegraph’s leader, “A nation haunted by mistakes of the past”, said it was the Iraq war that poisoned Cameron’s authority. Memories of being taken to war on a false prospectus, mentioned by the PM during his speech, played an overriding part in the rejection of his call for military action.
It concluded: “The resulting vote leaves both British policy on Syria, and Mr Cameron’s own leadership, mired in the deepest uncertainty.”
The Telegraph also carried a piece by Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, “David Cameron failed the test of trust, and paid the price”, in which he wrote:
“British prime ministers are just not supposed to lose votes on issues as fundamental as war and peace. This represents not just an extraordinary defeat, but a catastrophic political misjudgment.”
It spoke of Cameron as “the principal loser” who, despite act “a polished performance” lost control of a key issue of foreign policy and therefore suffered “an almost unprecedented failure.”
Britain tabled a draft resolution to authorize military action against Syria, but the meeting of the UN Security Council’s permanent members on Thursday ended without reaching an agreement to resolve the Syrian crisis.
The British government’s legal advice had indicated earlier that a military action against Syria is legal even without the United Nations approval.