A recent interview on RT Arabic with Marat Musin, a reporter and political analyst, reveals that many Russian political experts & analysts are predicting that the war against Syria will end in half a year, around July 2013. Their conclusions are based primarily on an observable shift in US policy regarding Syria, where changes in the US administration are very likely to lead to a drop in support for the Salafist groups – “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) terrorists.

The discussion also analyzes the meaning of the upcoming naval exercises that Russia will be conducting in the Eastern Mediterranean and that are the largest since the fall of the Soviet Empire.

According to many observers, the Syrian loyalty to president Bashar al- Assad is the major reason, and the steadiness of  the courageous Syrian army is another important reason.

Source: RT Arabic


Russia Rules out Military Intervention in Syria

MOSCOW, (ST)-  Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei  Pushkov stressed that the US position regarding the crisis in Syria  is  one of the main factors affecting  bilateral relations between Moscow and Washington,  after the US President Barak Obama  put himself on the one- way path when demanded " the stepping down of the Syrian leadership".

In an interview posted on MK website, Pushkov  ruled out that the US President will  contribute to  a military operation  in Syria which  means that armed conflict will take longer time  and thereby have an adverse  impact on the relations between Russia and the USA

He  predicted that the global crisis will  lead to the deterioration of U.S. leadership of  the world and that only few years are left  so as China to assume the  world's leadership, adding that the    USD  will collapse soon.


Chavez has mood of victory

Source - by AVN Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez

Executive vice president Nicolas Maduro said Sunday that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has the same mood as usual, the mood of victory, upon his last visit to leader on January 14.

"Through special eyes, he looks how his homeland to which he has devoted all his efforts and life for its realization, is standing up and his children of the life are coherent and loyal to him," Maduro said and added that "at this time, he has his people's support and a team of loyal men and women standing by him."

According to Maduro, this has conferred a special shine of satisfaction to Chavez's eyes, because of the fight he has given and continue to give.

Speaking on private TV channel Televen, he said Chavez is battling and aware of the situation he has suffered, as well as the country's situation. VP also noted that socialist leader has been disciplined in following his treatment and now he is entering "a new phase of treatment" after finishing post-operative period.

"He has been improving progressively, his lab ranges and body functions have been returning to normal, he is now fully conscious and stronger to enter the second phase, which will be announced by officials."

Along with Cabinet ministers in his last visit, VP Maduro recounted that holding his right hand and looking at him, he told him: "Rest easy, keep pace with your treatment because right there is an active people waiting for you and a National Armed Force with a loyal and very high morale and a revolutionary force."

Maduro said that Head of State is always in the company of his family and Venezuelan people's prayers. "We are always optimistic in the sense that rather sooner than later, we are going to have the president with us."

He also added that while his visits to president Chavez in Havana, in Venezuela "a work team has been governing, working for its people and running all missions contained in the national plan."

Furthermore, Maduro recalled that during his last visit on January 14, Chavez ordered him to deliver the presidency's annual report to the National Assembly on January 15. They also spoke about oil, price stability and this year's income to cover national budget.

"He is focused on that, following his treatment with discipline. Every time we visited him in Havana, we have had the chance to see him, be with him, because we love him. Besides, he is in good mood as usual, having a permanent smile and I think that is the essential nature of him: a man, expressing optimism and trust in life through his smile."

VP Maduro also said the Venezuelan right-wing is betting on Chavez's removal and will not fulfill their purposes of burning the country since Government team will not allow it.


The World Should Know the "Fake Revolution" in Syria – Russian Committee

MOSCOW, ( ST)_ The  Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria  has stressed  that the armed terrorist groups in Syria " recruit children into their ranks and force them to take up arms and engage in battles" against the forces of the Syrian army and state.
In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the committee added  that the  "armed groups are using those children for the torture and execution of persons they hold as kidnapped."
The Committee noted that such acts contradict  with the international laws that prevent recruitment of children under fifteen  year old  in the armed forces or groups and  consider using them in  acts of hostilities as a  crime whether being  direct participation in fighting , reconnaissance , espionage and rebellious  missions or as means for giving signals.
The committee pointed the importance   that the world should  know and be  informed  of the practices " of this " fake revolution" in Syria.

S. T

President Barack Obama sworn in for second term

President Obama has officially been sworn in for his second four-year term. The ceremony, along with Vice President Biden’s swearing in, precedes Monday's showpiece on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington.

President Barack Obama was officially sworn in for his second term as President of the United States of America ,according to China Daily.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office in the White House's Blue Room with the First lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha and a few reporters in attendance. Obama's swearing-in met the constitutional requirement that he take the oath by noon on January 20.

Plagued by deep domestic problems, Barack Obama would love to outsource many international issues to the EU in his second term. The problem is no one knows whether Europe is up to the task, writes Ivan Krastev.

With his right arm raised and his left hand on a family bible, President Obama recited, "I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Chief Roberts flubbed the oath the first time in 2009 during Obama's public inauguration outside the Capitol, when Obama became America's first black president.

Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in for his second term in Washington earlier in the day by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at his official Washington residence, the Naval Observatory.

Sotomayor became the first Hispanic judge to ever officiate for the US nation's two highest offices.

In his inaugural speech on Monday, Obama is expected to talk about the need for political compromise where possible - a nod to the Republican-led House of Representatives over current divisive issues such as the budget and gun control.


Beijing blasts Washington over islands

Beijing on Sunday blasted Washington's latest intervention in the Diaoyu Islands issue, warning the US to be "responsible" and "choose its words carefully".

The warning came as Beijing prepared to receive a high-ranking member of the governing coalition in Tokyo who will reportedly deliver a letter "aimed at improving ties''.

But sending messengers to Beijing will be of little value, observers warned, if Washington's support for Tokyo's stance risks the situation getting out of control. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday revealed Washington's lack of neutrality when she said the islands were "under the administration of Japan", a phrase that China rejects,according to China Daily.

Clinton told reporters after meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida that the US opposes "any unilateral actions" that would seek to undermine Japan's "administration", a remark observers see as clearly backing Japan.

Dong Manyuan, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Clinton's remarks show an evident preference for Japan's stance, and this runs the risk of bolstering far-right nationalists in Tokyo.

The comments are "ignorant of facts and indiscriminate of rights and wrongs", and Washington cannot deny its historical responsibility on the issue of the islands, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters on Sunday.

"Tokyo may feel less inhibited in carrying out further provocation, and the situation will become more unstable," Dong warned. "A major conflict breaking out over the islands, along with further confrontation between China and the US, does not serve US national interests."

Yet Dong added that as "Clinton is retiring soon, it remains to be seen if the incoming secretary of state, John Kerry, will follow the existing policies".

The Diaoyu Islands and affiliated islets have belonged to China for centuries, but Japan illegally grabbed the islands at the end of the 1894-95 Sino-Japanese War. Key wartime documents, including the Cairo Declaration, covered the return of the islands.

Yet, despite opposition from China, the US and Japan cut a backroom deal in 1971 giving Japan so-called "administration" over the islands.

Beijing urges the US to be "responsible" and careful with its words, Qin said.

Dong Manyuan said that perhaps Washington is also privately reining in Tokyo to prevent a serious escalation.

Meanwhile, Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the pacifistic New Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said on Saturday night that he will take a handwritten letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Beijing.

Yamaguchi told reporters after meeting Abe that they both agreed that political talks are the "first step" to mending relations.

Yamaguchi said he hopes to deliver the letter to Party chief Xi Jinping during his four-day visit from Tuesday, Japan's Kyodo News Agency said.

The China-Japan Friendship Association, a non-governmental organization, will host Yamaguchi. It is not clear whether Yamaguchi's proposal of meeting Xi has been confirmed by Beijing.


Russia Launches Huge Naval Exercises in the Mediterranean, Black Sea

 MOSCOW– Russia has started the largest naval exercises in the past few decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

According to the Russian International News Agency, RIA Novosti, the drills involve task forces from Russia’s Black Sea, Northern and Baltic fleets, strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, air defense units, paratroopers and naval infantry.

An official statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, issued on Saturday, says the exercises “are held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and focus on interoperability of task forces from several fleets while on a mission in a far-off maritime zone.”

The exercises will continue until January 29 and involve over 60 drills, including anti-submarine warfare missions, missile and artillery firing practices.

The training may also include simulated beach landing and convoy escort missions as the task forces have four large landing ships and a variety of auxiliary vessels in their composition.

Some of the exercises are expected to be carried out in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, and, possibly close to the territorial waters of Syria.

The Russian Navy keeps a naval re-supply and maintenance base in the Syrian port of Tartous to support its operations in the Mediterranean.


Compiled by H. Mustafa

 From the RIA Novosti


Moscow seeks to unify Int'l stances towards crisis in Syria, says Lavrov

MOSCOW,(ST)_Russia underscores the need for immediate cessation of all forms of violence in Syria and starting a Syrian comprehensive dialogue to settle the crisis.

The remark was made on Friday by the Russian Foreign Minister, SergeiLavrov, who held talks with Leader of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, WalidJunblat.

"The talks dealt with the situation in Syria in the light of increasing negative consequences of 'armed conflict' on the region's states," the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said in its statement.

It added that Lavrov asserted full support for stability and independence of Lebanon and all states in the region as well. He also restated Russia's firm stances for solving internal cases peacefully through dialogue and far away from foreign meddling and imposed dictations.

'A dirty' attack

Meanwhile, Russia's presidential envoy to the Middle East, Mikhael Bogdanov, echoed Lavrov's remark as regards solving the ongoing crisis in Syria through dialogue and under Geneva Statement.

In a meeting with a Syrian parliamentary delegation in Moscow, Bogdanov noted Russia's efforts being exerted to unify international stances to bring about a peaceful solution to crisis in Syria.

"A 'dirty' attack is being launched against Syria via mass media, particularly the western one," the Russian Envoy said, citing that some western mass media distort the reality of Russia's attitude towards Syria and falsify the Russian leadership's remarks in this regard.

"The Syrian MPs' visit to Moscow comes within the framework of reactivating parliamentary and diplomatic relations and developing communication between representative of public opinion in Syria and Russia at all levels," Bogdanov said.