Ty­moshenko de­nied med­i­cal treat­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

KIEV | Im­pris­oned for­mer Ukrainian Prime Min­is­ter Yu­lia Ty­moshenko has not been al­lowed to re­ceive treat­ment in a spe­cial­ized clinic out­side of her prison, as rec­om­mended by Ger­man doc­tors, prison of­fi­cials and sup­port­ers said Thurs­day. Mrs. Ty­moshenko, 51, the coun­try’s top op­po­si­tion leader, is serv­ing a seven-year prison sen­tence for abuse of of­fice af­ter a ver­dict con­demned by the West as po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. She has a spinal her­nia and suf­fers from con­stant and in­tense pain, ac­cord­ing to her daugh­ter, Eugenia Ty­moshenko.

Ger­man doc­tors have con­cluded af­ter ex­am­in­ing her that she ur­gently needs com­plex treat­ment, which should be con­ducted in a spe­cial­ized fa­cil­ity, not in prison.

Pen­i­ten­tiary Ser­vice spokesman Ihor An­drushko said that Mrs. Ty­moshenko has been of­fered med­i­ca­tion, mas­sages and other pro­ce­dures for her con­di­tion to be ad­min­is­tered in­side the prison. He said she had re­fused the of­fer.

Ira­nian cargo flights to Syria were re­ported as the bloody up­ris­ing against Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad en­ters its sec­ond year and as Iran flouts in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions over its se­cre­tive nu­clear pro­gram.

Mean­while, Iraq is roil­ing with sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence and po­lit­i­cal un­rest in the af­ter­math of the with­drawal of U.S. combat troops in De­cem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. of­fi­cial, in­tel­li­gence about the Ira­nian cargo flights was ob­tained through the in­ter­cep­tion of air traf­fic con­trol com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Man­i­fests of the planes’ cargo have listed “agri­cul­tural equip­ment” and “flow­ers.”

A high-level White House of­fi­cial re­cently spoke di­rectly with Mr. al-ma­liki about the is­sue, the of­fi­cial said.

Mr. al-ma­liki, a Shi­ite, has been ac­cused of tilt­ing his gov­ern­ment to­ward its more pow­er­ful neigh­bor, Iran, which is gov­erned un­der a Shi­ite theoc­racy. The day af­ter the last U.S. troops left Iraq, Mr. al-ma­liki is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for the coun­try’s high­est-rank­ing Sunni of­fi­cial, Vice Pres­i­dent Tariq alHashemi, ac­cus­ing him of ter­ror­ism-re­lated crimes.

Sit­u­ated be­tween Iran and Syria, Iraq is an ideal tran­sit route be­tween the two Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries. But al­low­ing cargo flights of weapons to Syria could mean that Iraq is in vi­o­la­tion of U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions 1929 and 1747, which ban arms ex­ports from Iran.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Em­bassy in Washington said he could not pro­vide im­me­di­ate com­ment and that he ex­pects to re­ceive a re­sponse from his gov­ern­ment in com­ing days.

In Syria, more than 8,000 peo­ple have been killed in the As­sad regime’s year-old crack­down on dis­sent, ac­cord­ing to a U.N. es­ti­mate. Syr­ian forces and op­po­si­tion rebels, led by mil­i­tary de­fec­tors, in­creas­ingly are clash­ing in city streets in what many say is be­com­ing a civil war.

Dur­ing con­gres­sional tes­ti­mony last week, the com­man­der of U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand, which mon­i­tors and con­ducts op­er­a­tions in the Mid­dle East, ac­knowl­edged that Iran is send­ing weapons to Syria.

“In terms of Iran, they are work­ing earnestly to keep As­sad in power. They have flown in ex­perts. They are fly­ing in weapons. It is a full-throated ef­fort by Iran to keep As­sad there and op­press­ing his own peo­ple,” Ma­rine Corps Gen. James Mat­tis told the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee.

“They are pro­vid­ing the kind of weapons that are be­ing used right now to sup­press the op­po­si­tion,” Gen. Mat­tis said.

How­ever, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­jected calls to arm the Syr­ian op­po­si­tion, say­ing such a move would only worsen the sit­u­a­tion. On Thurs­day, France also re­jected a call to arm the op­po­si­tion.

Still, U.S. of­fi­cials have been re­view­ing diplo­matic and mil­i­tary op­tions to halt the vi­o­lence in Syria.

“We are go­ing to con­tinue to keep the pres­sure up, and are look­ing for ev­ery tool avail­able to pre­vent the slaugh­ter of in­no­cents in Syria,” Pres­i­dent Obama said Feb. 24.

Ira­nian in­flu­ence has grown in Iraq since the 2003 U.s.-led in­va­sion forced the ouster of Iraqi dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein, with Tehran pro­vid­ing mon­e­tary aid and other as­sis­tance to Bagh­dad.

Iran is also Syria’s clos­est, long­time ally in the re­gion. Dur­ing the Iran-iraq war in the 1980s, Syria sided with Iran. Both Syria and Iran sup­port the Is­lamic mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah in Le­banon, and both are con­sid­ered en­e­mies of Is­rael.

Although there is a small U.S. mil­i­tary pres­ence in Iraq, most U.S. troops ex­ited the re­gion pre­cip­i­tously last year, when ne­go­ti­a­tions on im­mu­nity for U.S. troops broke down.

Only a few hun­dred mil­i­tary per­son­nel re­main in Iraq, along with about 500 se­cu­rity con­trac­tors and thou­sands of staffers at the U.S. Em­bassy.

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