TEL AVIV – Russian military experts have been inside Syria helping Bashar Assad’s regime face down a months-long insurgency, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The officials told WND the team of Russian experts were currently advising Assad’s regime on how to quell rioting in Damascus and around the presidential compound.
This is not the first report of Russian aid to Assad’s faltering regime.
Last month, WND quoted an Egyptian security official stating that Russian military technicians were in Syria to inspect the country’s missile and army installations.
Russia is a military ally to Syria. Moscow has been trying to water down United Nations Security Council resolutions targeting Syria in recent days, with Russia insisting that any council action should not only focus on the Assad government but also the opposition movement trying to end Assad’s rule.
The latest information comes as the Syrian opposition yesterday issued yet another call for foreign intervention in Syria.
The Syrian rebel army chief urged the world to protect civilians in Syria, complaining that Arab peace monitors had failed to curb Assad’s response to the 10-month-old revolt against his rule.
Riad al-Asaad, Turkish-based commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, stated, “We ask that the international community intervene because they are more capable of protecting Syrians at this stage than our Arab brothers.”
The opposition in Syria previously specifically requested the U.S. and NATO intervene.
Also yesterday, Assad said he “absolutely rejects” any plans to send Arab troops into the country. He was referring to a statement from the leader of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who was quoted Sunday as saying Arab troops should be sent to Syria – the first statements by an Arab leader calling for the deployment of troops inside Syria.
Damascus officials claimed in November that NATO troops were training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria.
Arab League diplomats previously told reporters they might recognize the opposition as the sole representative of the Syrian people in a move that would symbolically isolate Assad’s regime.
If such a step is taken, it would mimic the diplomatic initiatives recently utilized to isolate Moammar Gadhafi’s regime before the NATO campaign in Libya.
Any deployment would most likely come under the banner of the same “Responsibility to Protect” global doctrine used to justify the U.S.-NATO airstrikes in Libya.
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by President Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
A Turkish-U.S.-NATO strike could have immediate implications for Israel.
The Syrian president warned in an interview last month with a U.K. newspaper that foreign intervention in Syria would cause an “earthquake” across the region and create another Afghanistan, while directly threatening the Jewish state.
Assad reportedly made similar comments in a meeting in early October with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu. He was quoted stating, “If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv.”
Assad also reportedly warned that “all these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”
George Soros-funded doctrine
In his address to the nation in April explaining the NATO campaign in Libya, Obama cited Responsibility to Protect doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
The Global Center for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine.
As WND reported, billionaire activist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Center for Responsibility to Protect. Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros.
WND reported the committee that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
Also, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has a seat on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect. The commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term Responsibility to Protect while defining its guidelines.
The Carr Center is a research center concerned with human rights located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, was Carr’s founding executive director and headed the institute at the time it advised in the founding of Responsibility to Protect.
With Power’s center on the advisory board, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty first defined the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.
Two of the global group’s advisory board members, Ramesh Thakur and Gareth Evans, are the original founders of the doctrine, with the duo even coining the term.
As WND reported, Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the GlobalCenter for Responsibility to Protect. Also, Thakur and Evans sit on multiple boards with Soros.
Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.
Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.
Annan once famously stated, “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are … instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa.”
Soros: Right to ‘penetrate nation-states’
Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article titled “The People’s Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations.”
In the article Soros said, “True sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”
“If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified,” Soros wrote. “By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens.
“In particular,” he continued, “the principle of the people’s sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict.”
More Soros ties
“Responsibility” founders Evans and Thakur served as co-chairmen with Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corp. Charitable Foundation, on the advisory board of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which invented the term Responsibility to Protect.
In his capacity as co-chairman, Evans also played a pivotal role in initiating the fundamental shift from sovereignty as a right to “sovereignty as responsibility.”
Evans presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, United Nations General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle.
Thakur is a fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, which is in partnership with an economic institute founded by Soros.
Soros is on the executive board of the International Crisis Group, a “crisis management organization” for which Evans serves as president-emeritus.
WND previously reported how the group has been petitioning for the U.S. to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition in Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was recently toppled.
Aside from Evans and Soros, the group includes on its board Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei and other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
WND also reported the crisis group has petitioned for the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.
Soros’ own Open Society Institute has funded opposition groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including organizations involved in the current chaos.
‘One World Order’
WND reported that doctrine founder Thakur recently advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.”
In a piece last March in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, “Toward a new world order,” Thakur wrote: “Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”
He was referring to a United Nations-brokered international climate treaty in which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”
In the opinion piece, Thakur then discussed recent military engagements and how the financial crisis has impacted the U.S.
“The West’s bullying approach to developing nations won’t work anymore – global power is shifting to Asia,” he wrote.
“A much-needed global moral rebalancing is in train,” he added.
Thakur continued: “Westerners have lost their previous capacity to set standards and rules of behavior for the world. Unless they recognize this reality, there is little prospect of making significant progress in deadlocked international negotiations.”
Thakur contended “the demonstration of the limits to U.S. and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ Western power.”