Syrian envoy blames opposition for civilian casualties

Last Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 17:49

Moscow: The armed opposition in Syria was responsible for the Houla massacre and other civilian casualties, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad said on Thursday.

"The government is absolutely not interested in murdering defenseless people and children. However, this is an important goal for armed groups, because such incidents lead to the escalation of tensions," Haddad told a press conference here.

He also warned that the opposition was trying to incite foreign interventions in the country.

"Armed terrorist groups violate human rights and commit murders and bloodbaths in Syria, which is aimed at inciting foreign intervention and buffer zones," the ambassador said.

He attributed a possible failure of UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan`s peace plan to certain Western and Arab countries, but not the Syrian government.

"I would not rush to say that the plan is already thwarted. We want it to be fulfilled and a political solution to be found," Haddad said.

"Certain countries, especially the United States, France and certain Arab nations, are doing their best to thwart the Annan plan," the ambassador said, adding that these countries are arming the terrorist groups in Syria.

Meanwhile, he defended the Russian arms supplies to Syria, saying the deal did not violate any international law or the UN Charter.

"These weapons do not fall under any sanctions ... These are air defense weapons, which are defensive weapons," he said.

Russia`s state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday that Russia didn`t send military equipment to foreign countries in violation of UN sanctions.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week Russia would not ship anything to Syria outside the just-finished air defense contracts with Syria and was not providing Damascus with any weapons against "peaceful demonstrators."


First Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 17:48

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