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Will Herzog

HR: Fitzpatrick
Russias Position on Syria
Inspired by revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, the citizens of Syria began
peaceful protests in April 2011. The Syrian Government responded by opening
fire on protestors- violently killing activists and innocent civilians alike. Shortly
thereafter, residents fired back and organized into rebel groups. Citizens from
bordering countries began to voluntarily join the rebels, not to fight for the
freedom and democracy of Syrians but because many are jihadists who loathe
Syrias secular government. Recently, the Syrian Government allegedly used
chemical weapons against citizens in an effort to coerce them into obedience.
The use of chemical weapons in warfare has been banned since the 1925
Geneva Protocol and the development and stockpiling has been banned since
the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997.
Russia firmly believes that the a United States military strike against Syria
will result in more innocent casualties and has the potential to spread the conflict
far beyond Syrias borders. A strike would intensify violence and unleash a new
wave of terrorism. Additionally, a strike may weaken multilateral works to solve
the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further
weaken the Middle East and North Africa. Russia believes that Syria is not
experiencing a fight for democracy, but a fortified struggle between authority and
opposition in a multiethnic country.
Russia believes in enforcing United Nations Security Council international
law, which states that force is only permitted in self-defense or at the discretion of
the Security Council. Russia believes that it is illegal to engage in any sort of
intervention and worries that such would constitute an act of aggression.
Additionally, Russia has every reason to believe that the use of chemical
weapons in Syria was not by the Syrian Army but instead by rebels in attempts to
provoke intervention by their democratic foreign supporters.
Recently, the Syrian government willingly agreed to place its chemical
arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction providing the
United States withdraw all efforts towards military intervention. The draft decision
would be submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) setting down special protocol for prompt destruction of the Syrias
chemical weapons aerosol and include procedure for stringent verification of
compliance. The decision would support the application of Article VIII of the
Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the referral of any cases of
non-compliance to the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations
Security Council. Syria would be required to submit, within a week, a
comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical
weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage,
production, and research and development facilities. Russia sees this as a
superior alternative to any sort of American-led military intervention. If the United
States avoids military action against Syria, it will improve the Russian-United
States international affairs and strengthen mutual trust.