Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mocked the U.S.’s policy on Libya while talking to reporters about Russian troops and equipment in Syria.
“We helped and we continue to help the Syrian government equip the Syrian army with everything it needs to prevent [a repetition of] the Libyan scenario and other regretful events that happened in that region because some of our Western partners were possessed with the idea of removing undesirable regimes,” stated Lavrov.
President Barack Obama’s policy in Libya of supporting rebellion against dictator Muammar Qaddafi, many argue, directly led to the state of chaos in which that nation finds itself today. Paramount among the errors of the State Department in its Libya policy is the series of errors that resulted in the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi. He is the first ambassador to die in the line of duty since 1979.
Russia jumped to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s defense when Syria dived into a civil war four years ago. Hundreds of thousands of people have died or been displaced. The war also provided shelter for various new jihadist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
Massive Russian movement documented on television and social media sparked international concerns these past few weeks. At first, Russian officials denied ever sending troops or equipment to Syria. Yet, three days later, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Lavrov, the same government claimed officials never denied or misled anyone about sending weapons and equipment to Syria.
“The Russian side has never concealed the fact that it is sending military equipment to the Syrian authorities to help them fight terrorism,” Zakharova explained to AFP. “Lavrov confirmed that such aid has always been provided and is being provided.”
Lavrov stressed that increased activity does not mean Russia is building up their presence.
“There are Russian military personnel in Syria; they have been there for several years,” he said. “Their presence is tied to the deliveries of arms for the Syrian army that is taking the brunt in the fight against terrorism from the Islamic State (Daesh) and other extremist groups.”
In September 2014, Chechens in ISIS released a video, threatening Russian President Vladimir Putin. The terrorists promised to liberate Chechnya and the North Caucasus.
“We will, with the consent of Allah, free Chechnya and all of the Caucasus!” said the fighter. “The Islamic State is here and will stay here, and it will spread with the grace of Allah! Your throne has already been shaken. It is under threat and will fall with our arrival. We’re already on our way with the grace of Allah!”
ISIS allegedly shot the video at an airport in Raqqa after they seized control from the Syrian Army. A Russian speaker describes the jets and military equipment to the Islamic State fighters. He confirms it all came from Russia.
“This message is for you, Vladimir Putin!” said the fighter. “These are the aircraft you sent to Bashar [Assad], and we’re going to send them to you. Remember that!”