Russia accused the West on Friday of being an “accomplice” to the violence in Syria, saying the country’s opposition bore full responsibility for ending the ongoing violence in the country.
AFP quoted Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as having said that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s promise to stage a new constitutional referendum meant that it was now up to the armed resistance movement to take the next step.
Ryabkov added that Russia was ready to follow its veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution on the crisis with additional “strong measures” should the West continue to refuse to acknowledge the opposition's role in the crisis.
“The Syrian leadership has assured us of its readiness to quickly hold a referendum on a new constitution and move toward elections,” Ryabkov was quoted as having told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
He added, “This means that the opposition bears full responsibility for improving the situation and finding a way to stop the bloodshed.”
Ryabkov also said that “Western states that push the Syrian opposition into uncompromising measures, which arm them and give them advice and instructions are accomplices in the process of inflaming the crisis.”
“The responsibility rests with those who while holding the levers of influence over the opposition still fail to call it to order and demand that it accept the Syrian government's offers and begin real talks,” he said.
25 people were killed and 175 people were wounded in two blasts targeting security bases in Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Friday. Some children were also reported killed in the attack
UN Human Rights officials say at least 5,400 have been killed by Assad loyalists, but stopped counting in early January due to the instability and chaos on the country. Current estimates by human rights activists exceed 6,000 deaths.
On Friday, it was reported that Assad sent his family members, as well as the children of key regime figures, out of the country in what is taken as a sign of his regime's acknowledgement of its increasing weakness.
On Thursday, the Free Syria Army said that the Syrian military has moved forces stationed in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights closer to Israel.
The Syrian military did not come close to the border with Israel. However, armored forces that were stationed along the Syria-Jordan border, which were recently reinforced, were moved and are now closer to Israel, according to the report.
The Free Syria Army is the largest opposition group in Syria and is partly made up of defectors from the official Syrian Army.
Israel has been concerned that Assad may try to defuse the uprising against him by starting a conflict with Israel.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)