Russia, US heading for confrontation over Syria: UAE daily

Sharjah, June 22 (IANS/WAM) Russia and the US seem to be heading for an open confrontation after the Group of Eight (G8) summit ended in the failure of Western leaders to overcome Russian resistance to a resolution calling for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, a UAE daily said.

Moscow has announced the dispatch to Syria of two warships carrying 600 Russian marines. They were being sent to Syria, "to protect the Russian citizens there", said an official statement.

"The Russian move is seen as a reflection of President Vladimir Putin's intent to flex military muscle in response to the delivery of Western heavy arms to Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime," The Gulf Today said in an editorial.

"Putin is also seen as warning the US and its allies if they insisted on arming the rebels, Russia would land troops in Syria in the guise of an operation to evacuate endangered Russian nationals," the Sharjah-based newspaper said.

Some 20,000 Russians are currently living in Syria. In earlier stages of the conflict, they were given the locations of assembly points should Moscow decide to lift them out of the war-torn country.

"As it is, hopes for a successful international effort to find a negotiated solution to the Syrian crisis have disappeared, and now the new danger is that of a US-Russian proxy war in Syria," the report said.




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