Saakashvili said he had spoken to U.S. President George W. Bush who had signalled his “full support”.
“He understands that it’s not really about Georgia but in a certain sense it’s also an aggression against America,” he told the paper.
Via the Times:
US aircraft have started to fly some of Georgia’s 2,000 troops in Iraq back home to join the fight in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq said today.
“The flights are ongoing to redeploy the elements of the Georgian contingent so that they can deal with the security issues in their country,” General Petraeus told The Times in an interview at his office inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.
He said measures were already in place to mitigate the impact on operations in Iraq of the sudden departure of the soldiers.
“We can accommodate that. Obviously it was not expected but it is something, the effects of which we can certainly mitigate.”
Georgia has ordered its forces to cease fire, and offered to start talks with Russia over an end to hostilities in South Ossetia, Georgian officials say.
Earlier Georgia said its troops had pulled out of the breakaway region and that Russian forces were in control of its capital, Tskhinvali.
Thousands of civilians have fled the area, following heavy fighting that broke out on Thursday night.
The US has described Russia’s actions as “dangerous and disproportionate”.
US Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey warned that if the Russian escalation continued, it would have a “significant” long-term impact on relations between Moscow and Washington.
Via Postimees: Georgian military experts believe that the centre of gravity of Russian military operations may move to Abkhazia, where all day Saturday there were exchanges of fire and airstrikes on Georgian villages in the Kodori Gorge.
In the afternoon there were reports of a possible Russian intention to begin a naval blockade of Georgia. There were also reports that Turkish warships have taken up positions near Batumi.
Georgian forces have temporarily withdrawn from Tskhinvali, but remain in South Ossetia, according to the Georgian Reintegration Minister, reported by Sky News.
The Georgian interior ministry says that Russian aircraft dropped three bombs on Tbilisi International Airport at around 5.30 am Moscow time, according to interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili, reported by Reuters via gazeta.ru. The explosions were heard by the Reuters correspondent. According to Mr. Utiashvili, Russian forces were waiting for daybreak in order to begin “active military operations” against Georgia.
Earlier there were reports that Russia had bombed a military airfield near Tbilisi.