The embattled Syrian regime and its closest allies, Russia and Iran, will oppose American military action in its territory against Islamic State, the axis said on Thursday.The group expressed its opposition to American force, which it called an “aggressive” and “illegal” intervention in a sovereign state, hours after President Barack Obama announced his intent to target Islamic State terrorists “wherever they exist.”
But the White House made clear that the president’s decision had already been made. Strikes will begin against targets in Syria “at a time and place” of his choosing, senior aides said.
With its veto power on the United Nations Security Council, Russia has long opposed foreign intervention in the Syrian civil war, which it considers a domestic political conflict.
Russia suggested on Thursday that without UN authorization, American action would be illegal.
“The US president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the US armed forces against ISIL [Islamic State] positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. “This step, in absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”
“Any action of any type without the approval of the Syrian government is an aggression against Syria,” Ali Haidar, minister of national reconciliation affairs, told reporters in Damascus on Thursday. “There must be cooperation with Syria and coordination with Syria, and there must be a Syrian approval of any action, whether it is military or not.”
Russia Warns U.S.: 'Two-Faced' Strategy In Syria Will Lead To 'Huge Escalation In Middle East And Africa'
If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending thatObama's new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that "such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa."
“There are reasons to suspect that air strikes on Syrian territory may target not only areas controlled by Islamic State militants, but the government troops may also be attacked on the quiet to weaken the positions of Bashar Assad’s army,” Lavrov said Tuesday. Such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, Lavrov told reporters in Moscow after a meeting with the foreign minister of Mali.
Moscow is urging the West to respect international law and undertake such acts only with the approval of the legitimate government of a state, Lavrov said.
“Not a single country should have its own plans on such issues. There can be only combined, collective, univocal actions. Only this way can a result be achieved,” he said.
Specifically, the issue at hand is the green part of the proposed pipeline: as explained above, it simply can't happen as long as Russia is alligned with Assad.
The Kingdom of Jordan is deeply concerned about the Obama administration’s renewed plan to train “moderate” rebels in Syria, believing the Syrian rebels are mostly extremists who espouse radical al-Qaida-like ideology, a senior Jordanian security official told WND.
President Barack Obama said Thursday that the U.S. is moving forward with tougher economic sanctions on Russia to protest what the U.S. describes as Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine.
Mr. Obama said the sanctions will have an impact on Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors. He said they'll increase Moscow's political isolation and foist additional economic costs on the country
The U.S. penalties will be coupled with a new round of European Union sanctions announced Thursday in Brussels. The U.S. and the EU will both disclose the full details Friday.
The latest sanctions from the West come despite acease-fire reached last week between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists.
The European Union’s 28 member states have been stockpiling gas in record quantities as they prepare for the possibility that Russia may turn off the tap that provides a vital energy lifeline to the continent. And for the first time ever, Europe’s collective storage tanks are almost full – containing almost 80 billion cubic metres of gas – almost a fifth of the bloc’s yearly useage.
The EU is also drawing up contingency plans that would ban companies from selling tanker cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) outside Europe and order industry to stop using gas. LNG is produced by liquefying the gas to 1/600th of its original size.
“There is something very nasty building and as long as Russia continues to use gas as an instrument in its broader dispute with Ukraine, Europe’s gas supplies will be under threat,” said John Lough, a Russian expert at the Chatham House think-tank.
“Russia uses energy strategy much more effectively than military power. The energy threat is much more powerful and much more dangerous. Russia understands that the world can’t find different sources of energy,” added Alexander Temerko, a Ukrainian-born energy consultant.
Nobody dares predict what will happen in the coming months. But with Russia’s dominance in European gas supply so absolute, the fallout from any significant curtailment will, at the very least, cause major shortages in Eastern Europe and send energy prices rocketing. Meanwhile, a full and prolonged embargo by Russia on gas exports to Europe would send social and economic shockwaves across Europe, experts warn.
What You're Looking at
►"Incredible video from Bardabunga. and
Live Cam 2
►"Incredible video from Bardabunga. and
Live Cam 2
►"This is lava draining out from under the crater of Bardabunga 25 miles away! The scale of what is going on is unlike anything seen in modern times.
►"The lava under the Bardabunga crater is draining out from the crater floor (the Caldera) which is over 6 miles in diameter and filled 2500 feet thick with ice covering the crater floor.
►"That FLOOR has dropped 25 meters (80 Feet) this week.
►"Scientists are now gravely concerned that the crater floor will soon collapse into a miles deep underground cavern filled with boiling white hot magma.
►"There's 1 trillion gallons of water in the ice in Bardabunga crater.
►"When that falls into a lake of magma it will instantly flash into steam expanding 600 times in volume.
►"The magma, suddenly no longer contained by the crater floor and 1 trillion gallons of water will act like a shaken soft drink can when the top is popped.
►"It will be an event unlike anything ever seen in recorded history.