Russia Accuses Libya of Training Syrian Rebels

Reuters09.03.2012 Libya
Russia Accuses Libya of Training Syrian Rebels

Russia Accuses Libya of Training Syrian Rebels

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Russia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin accused Libya of helping to train Syrian rebels to carry out attacks on Damascus government targets.

“We have received information that there is in Libya, with the support of the authorities, a special training center for Syrian revolutionaries and these people are sent to Syria to attack the legal government,” Churkin said.

“This is completely unacceptable according to all legal standards. This activity is undermining stability in the Middle East,” he told a Security Council meeting on Libya.

“We think that Al-Qaeda is in Syria. And now there is the question ̶ is the export of revolution being turned into export of terrorism?” Churkin added.

Russia is Syria’s closest ally and a fierce critic of Western action in support of the rebel fighters who brought down Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Russia and China have vetoed two council resolutions on Syria.

On February 29, Libya announced that it would provide $100 million in humanitarian aid to support Syria’s battle for “freedom” against the “dictatorial regime” of President Bashar al-Assad.

Libya government spokesman Mohammed al-Harizi said the opposition Syrian National Council opened a bank account for the funds which will be used to “provide financial support for humanitarian purposes, equivalent to $100 million.”

He said Libya backs Syrians in their twin “goals of freedom and getting rid of the dictatorial regime.”

Meanwhile, Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdul Rahim al-Kib said Thursday he was “not aware” of any camps in Libya where Syrian rebels are training to fight President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in Syria.

Speaking at a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kib acknowledged support for the political opposition when he said his government was the first to recognize the Syrian National Council.

“And we did that because we felt that the Syrian cause is a good cause,” Kib said. “As far as training camps, unless this is done without government permission, which I doubt, I’m not aware of any.”

Source: Al Arabiya; Reuters



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