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Iran Warns U.S. Over Syria as Crackdown Grows




CAIRO —Two Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port on Monday as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced the possibility that the Americans might arm the Syrian opposition, adding to the international tensions over the nearly year-long crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

As the government forces continued to pound opposition strongholds, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was trying to negotiate a brief pause in the violence to deliver aid to the most devastated areas.

Activist groups reported intensified attacks on the besieged Baba Amr neighborhood in the central city of Homs. They said the government’s inability to eradicate the opposition there despite weeks of bombardment could be keeping the military from striking deeper and harder into other parts of the country where armed resistance and rebellion is believed to be growing, including Hama and Idlib to the north.

“The biggest challenge in Homs is Baba Amr,” said Wissam Tarif, of the activist group Avaaz. “They cannot move military power to Idlib or Hama without finishing Homs first. They cannot leave any pockets of resistance behind them.” He said 16 people had been killed in Homs on Monday. Such reports are impossible to verify.

A video posted to YouTube showed an artillery blast hitting Baba Amr, sending a plume of dark smoke into the clear, sunny sky. “God is my only and best guardian,” muttered the panicked videographer. “The world remains silent. Today is Feb. 20, 2012.”

The protection by armed rebels has provided a measure of security to some protesters in places like Hama, which was leveled 30 years ago as Mr. Assad’s father put down an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood, killing at least 10,000 people. A video posted to YouTube on Monday showed several hundred people jumping and dancing in the street in Hama neighborhood of Halfaya, in what the video described as a regular “morning protest.”

Still, more than 50 checkpoints divide up the city, said the Local Coordinating Committees, a grassroots group that organizes and documents protests, and security forces have detained more than 500 people there in the last three weeks.

The living situation there, in Homs and in other hard-hit areas, including the Damascus suburbs of Zabadani and Madaya, has become increasingly grim. In Homs, supplies of food, baby formula, medicine and potable water are all running dry, said a spokeswoman for the committee.

“About two weeks ago, we sent 200 cans of baby milk into Homs, and they said they could not even meet 10 percent of their needs,” said the spokeswoman, Jasmine, who asked to use only one name for security reasons. “Now no one can get in or go out.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had begun negotiations with Syrian authorities for a pause in the fighting of as little as a few hours.

“The I.C.R.C. is exploring several possibilities for delivering urgently needed humanitarian aid,” a spokesman, Carla Haddad told Reuters. “These include a cessation of fighting in the most affected areas to facilitate swift Syrian Arab Red Crescent and I.C.R.C. access to the people in need.”

The arrival of the Iranian ships in the Syrian port of Tartous came days after the sharpest international rebuke to Mr. Assad thus far: the passage of a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the crackdown and calling for him to step aside. The current escalation of attacks on Homs and other areas began in early February, after the same resolution was vetoed in the Security Council by Russia and China. Russia recently sent ships to the same Syrian port, activists said.

Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency called the ships “a serious warning” to the United States, and quoted a senior Iranian lawmaker’s denunciations of comments made by Senator John McCain a day earlier in support of arming the Syrian opposition.

“The presence of Iran and Russia’s flotillas along the Syrian coasts has a clear message against the United States’ possible adventurism,” said Hossein Ebrahimi, a vice chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, Fars reported.

The mission and cargo of the ships are unknown.

“In case of any U.S. strategic mistake in Syria, there is a possibility that Iran, Russia and a number of other countries will give a crushing response to the US,” said Mr. Ebrahimi, according to Fars.

Mr. McCain, who was in Afghanistan on Sunday, told reporters there that he was in favor of arming the Syrian opposition, while stressing that no direct American involvement was necessary. In Cairo on Monday, he repeated that position.

“I am not calling for direct supply of weapons to Syria,” Mr. McCain said. “We have seen in Libya that there are ways to get weapons to people so that they can defend themselves. It is time that we gave them the wherewithal to fight back and stop the slaughter.”----

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/world/middleeast/iran-warns-us-over-syria-as-crackdown-intensifies.html



Added: Feb-20-2012 Occurred On: Feb-20-2012
By: MB-UK
In:
World News, Politics, Iran, Other Middle East
Tags: Iran, warn, US, syria, crackdown, tensions, conflict
Location: Syria (load item map)
Views: 4484 | Comments: 28 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Comment of user 'Univert' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Iranian "serious warnings" and threats have about as much impact as a cream pie in the face.....laughable at best.

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

    (4) | Report

  • Power is an illness that is best cured by removal of the head.

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Warns?
    Or what?

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

    • Comment of user 'DFW1990' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • 1> who gives a fuck about Syria
    2> who gives a fuck what dumb and dumber in the pic above have to say.

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

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  • oh fuck off already Iran. All they do is talk talk talk talk talk. What happened after they threatened US ships not to return to the strait of Hormuz?? We returned and they did NOTHING!! All talk.

    Great to see actual proof of Shia and Sunni working together. As evidenced by this pic. For all you naysayers that claim it is all a lie created by the West.

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

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    • @Kafirindareelharb

      Iran's not talking to anyone. They don't have boats docked off the shores of the United States.

      If anything, it's the US and Israel provoking a war with the Iranians. What's a US naval ship doing off the coast in the Persian Gulf?

      Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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    • @mphatik

      They're in INTERNATIONAL waters. I meant that Iran is talking shit. That is all they do. All bark, no bite.

      Posted Feb-23-2012 By 

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  • Assad will never win this war because his tactics are wrong, they wont leave hama until all pockets of resistance are gone. Idiot generals, push through to your destination and let your infantry and lighter forces follow behind and occupy the territories. Assad reminds me of the actor off Thomas lennon off of Reno 911

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

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  • Dear Iran,
    Please shut the hell up. Your sad attempts to show military might have made you the laughing stock of the middle east. The Photoshop missiles, the sand castle war game, the badly copied fighter air craft and helicopters, the speed boat navy and now 2 future reefs you parked next to Syria and lets not forget the comedy speech about closing a major water way. In 8 years of war with Iraq you never managed anything better than a stalemate. We occupied it in less than 21 days and while we More..

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

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    • @Skinnydaddy

      Yea, because the United States was supplying Saddam Hussein and Iraq with weapons of mass destruction in order to keep them fighting Iran.

      Go read a book you tool.

      Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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    • @mphatik Ya it's not like Iran had not attacked a US embassy and taken hostages and we can play tit for tat all day. So lets just spell it out for you.
      Iran will not be allowed to make or attain nuclear weapons. Iran's grandstanding seems to last desperate action of an idiotic government who is pushing their country to war so they can play the martyr. The simple fact is Iran can stop all of it by stopping its nuclear weapons research. end of story.

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @Skinnydaddy

      Well I don't recall Iran attacking the United States out of thin air. The only thing that history taught us is that the US implemented the "Shah" of Iran as a puppet government, to work for America. It was thrown out because Iran wanted to keep it's resources for Iran and the Shah finally started seeing how America works. Now both countries are exactly where they are.

      If the US actually just keeps its nose out of other peoples affairs, past and present, we should More..

      Posted Feb-22-2012 By 

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    • @mphatik We tried that and a few thousand people killed for it.
      Again Iran's so called Nuclear Power program is adding less than 1tenth of 1 percent to Iran's grid. At a time when most counties are try to get away from nuclear power Iran decide they must have it? Umm No its a weapon program that it. Other countries have said they would enrich the fuel for them so it could not be used in weapons and Iran said no. So its a weapon program plain and simple.

      Posted Feb-23-2012 By 

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    • @Skinnydaddy Why Bother Skinny he is a Western Hater doesn't matter what accurate factual reply you have for it. But I agree with Ya.

      Posted Feb-25-2012 By 

      (0) | Report

  • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Mhh so Russia and Iran will allow the civilian population of Syria to be slaughtered for their Interests in the country and the Syrian leader. How nice of them they should feel so proud.

    So Russia hasn't been getting its super power attention of late and feel a little lonely. Russia wont do sh1t either. The only way if stopping the US is by total world destruction with nuclear war.

    I wonder what it feels like for Mr Putin knowing that the US could fly the X-37B or other hypersonic space jets More..

    Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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    • @trancefreak64

      Who said the population is getting "slaughtered"?

      Get your head out of your ass and the propaganda machine, you newb.

      Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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    • @mphatik Newb? Replying to me with a tough guy neanderthal brain I see. Calling me out and talking sh1t. Ok Well let me OWn you.

      Your telling me that that people who live in those homes who are also women and children are not part of the population? Do you know what the word population means? I can get you a link to a online dictionary because apparently you don't understand ENGLISH. I am American efn proud one and so your telling me it is a double standard when Arabs killing each other and ci More..

      Posted Feb-25-2012 By 

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    • @trancefreak64

      You're such a sigh.

      Posted Feb-26-2012 By 

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  • Mr. McCain go back to your POW camp you old, decrepit empty suit.

    Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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  • zionists stirring up more trouble?

    Posted Feb-25-2012 By 

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  • I think they should have a way to defend themselves too,.but why always America?
    the last I remembered this planet has almost two hundred Countries,.
    leave it to the worlds babysitters to handle it,.
    figures,...

    Posted Feb-20-2012 By 

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  • One more thing how funny would it be if the united states Navy docked right in the same port LOL. Just a little joke.
    Wouldn't be a good place to be in that cramped ocean but I am sure the 2 Iranian Naval vessels would enjoy the bottom the Ocean first.

    Posted Feb-21-2012 By 

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