Putin Dismisses US Claims Of Chemical Weapons Use By Syria As Utter Nonsense; Challenges Washington To Present Evidence To UN Security Council

 
on August 31 2013 8:56 AM
  • Putin, Vladimir
    Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow on Dec. 20, 2012. Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin, on Saturday, dismissed U.S. claims that Syria used chemical weapons and challenged Washington to present the evidence behind its claims to the United Nations Security Council.

"Syrian government troops are on the offensive and have surrounded the opposition in several regions," Putin said, according to a Reuters report. "In these conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for a military intervention is utter nonsense."

He said that if the U.S. attacked Syria without the U.N. consent it would be "extremely sad." And he also expressed surprise over British lawmakers’ vote against supporting any U.S. military intervention against Syria, on Thursday.

"I will be honest: This was completely unexpected for me," he said, according to BBC News.

"This shows that in Great Britain, even if it is the USA's main geopolitical ally in the world ... there are people who are guided by national interests and common sense, and value their sovereignty," he added.

The Russian president also suggested that the G-20 summit on Sept. 6 and 7 in St. Petersburg, Russia, could be used for discussing the Syrian crisis.  

His remarks came after the U.N. chemical weapon investigators left Syria, ending their four-day-long inspections at the site of the alleged chemical attack, near Damascus.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama, on Friday, said that the Syrian government cannot get away with the alleged chemical weapon use and added that he is considering a limited narrow action against Syria.

"We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale," Obama told reporters at the White House, Reuters reported.

In a speech Friday night, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that there was ample evidence that Assad’s government carried out the chemical strike.

“The United States government now knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children. Even the first-responders, the doctors, nurses and medics who tried to save them, they became victims themselves. We saw them gasping for air, terrified that their own lives were in danger. This is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. This is what Assad did to his own people,” Kerry said.

More than a thousand people, including children were killed in an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, on Aug 21. The U.S. and its allies claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons, while Syrian government forces and its key ally, Russia, blame opposition forces for staging the attack.

Assad said earlier this week that the allegations of chemical weapon use against its regime were politically motivated. “The comments (accusing the regime of using chemical weapons) made by politicians in the West and other countries are an insult to common sense. ... It is nonsense,” Assad said, according to Al-Arabiya News.  

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