NATO PROPAGANDA : Warmonger & Liar Breedlove ignores NATO and George Soros but instead blames Putin for the Refugee Crisis in Europe
Putin is ‘weaponising’ migrants to ‘overwhelm Europe’ warns Nato chief as Macedonia continues to refuse access to TEN THOUSAND refugees stranded at Greek border
Sara Malm — Mail Online March 2, 2016
NATO’s top commander in Europe has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of deliberately ‘weaponizing’ the refugee crisis in order to overwhelm and destabilize the continent.
General Philip Breedlove said the massive flow of migrants from Syria has had a disruptive effect on the European countries where they found refuge, and that this has worked to Russia’s advantage.
Overnight, Macedonia briefly opened their border with Greece to allow just 170 of the thousands of refugees and migrants waiting at the recently erected razor-wire fence.
About 10,000 people remain camped at the crossing near the small border-village of Idomeni, Greece, with hundreds more arriving every day.
General Breedlove warned US lawmakers Tuesday that Russia is helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turn the refugee crisis into a ‘weapon’ against the West.
‘Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve,’ Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Breedlove, who also heads the US military’s European Command, suggested this creates a distraction for Western powers as they grapple with the crisis and are forced to take their eye off its root cause.
‘These indiscriminate weapons used by both Bashar al-Assad, and the non-precision use of weapons by the Russian forces, I can’t find any other reason for them other than to cause refugees to be on the move and make them someone else’s problem,’ Breedlove said.
Further complicating the refugee crisis, he added, is that increasing numbers of foreigners who have fought in Syria are heading home again, bringing battlefield skills and sometimes extremist ideologies.
‘What we have seen growing in the past months and year is that in that flow of refugees we see criminality, terrorism and foreign fighters,’ he said.
At least 25,000 people are currently stranded in Greece, the country a majority of migrants and refugees arrive in after making a perilous crossing over the Mediterranean Sea.
As individual European countries, led by Austria, have imposed immigration caps, this has caused a domino effect down the Balkan ‘immigration corridor’, where more than a million people have passed through in the past year on their way to Germany or Scandinavia.
Greek police say Macedonia opened the crossing from midnight Tuesday to 2am Wednesday, and from 7am to 9am Wednesday, admitting 170 people from Syria and Iraq.
Macedonia says it will only allow in as many refugees as Serbia, its northern neighbour, accepts each day.
Hundreds, including many families with small children, are arriving every day at the Idomeni crossing in northern Greece.
The first two refugee camps are now so full that thousands have set up tents in fields nearby, living in appalling conditions.
‘I’ve been at Idomeni for ten days and it’s the fourth day I’ve been waiting to cross over,’ Hassan Rasheed, 27, from Iraq, said.
‘Conditions are very bad. There are many ill children who are coughing, and we spent the night in this tent under heavy rain.’
The barbed barrier, built of razor wire and thick fencing, now stretches for 19 miles along the Greek-Macedonian border near Idomeni.
Earlier this week, a mob of refugees and migrants attempted to push through the barriers and were forced back by Macedonian riot police using tear gas and stun grenades.
Before that, sporadic closures since February 19 had slowed the number allowed through to just dozens a day.
Overnight, rain soaked many families, who hung up clothing to dry Tuesday on the border fence.
A field official with the United Nations refugee agency on the Macedonian side of the crossing said authorities will soon send a train with about 500 people from the nearby town of Gevgelija to the Serbian border.
Jasmin Rexhepi, head of the aid group Legis, said that a group of about 50 Pakistanis remain trapped for a fourth day on the Macedonian side of the border between two razor-wire fences. He said Macedonian authorities are trying to send them back to Greece because the group crossed the border illegally.
Rexhepi also said that about 1,000 refugees – 750 Afghans and 250 Iraqis – are stuck at Macedonia’s border with Serbia, which has refused them entry.
About 2,000 migrants are still reaching Greek islands from nearby Turkey every day, despite the recent deployment of NATO ships in the east Aegean Sea.
In Athens, the government said it has requested 480 million euros (£372.7million) in aid for the refugee crisis from the EU, under an emergency plan to cope with as many as 100,000 stranded refugees — roughly three times the number now stuck inside Greece.
Athens is pressing EU countries to honor pledges to accept asylum seekers directly and for Turkey to help speed up deportations.
The government said 69 people from North Africa considered ineligible for asylum were deported to Turkey, with another 230 people due to be sent back by Wednesday.
The impasse in Greece drew strong criticism from the United Nations refugee agency, which warned that Europe ‘is on the cusp of a largely self-induced humanitarian crisis.’
A UNHCR statement said inconsistent policies on the continent ‘are causing unnecessary suffering and risk being at variance with EU and international law standards.’
Europe is facing it’s worst immigration crisis since the Second World War, with millions risking their lives to leave war and terror behind, or simply to seek a better life on another continent.
The latest UN report shows that in the first two months of 2016, more than 130,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea – more than the total number for the first half of 2015.
These statistics do not take into account the thousands or men, women and children who have died while attempting to make the crossing.