Russia Warns against Military Intervention in Syria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday any military intervention in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations would be a grave violation of international law.
Lavrov appealed at a news conference to the United States and other Western powers to avoid "past mistakes" by intervening in Syria following accusations by rebel forces that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against them.
Following last week’s chemical attack, the West has engineered a media campaign to facilitate a military incursion, said Lavrov.
The diplomat also cast doubts on the veracity of US and European claims about the incident, the Voice of Russia reported.
“Official Washington, London and Paris say they have incontrovertible evidence that the Syrian government is behind the chemical attack in Damascus, but they have not yet presented this evidence. Yet, they keep saying that the ‘red line’ has been crossed,” Lavrov said during an emergency press conference in Moscow.
“Now, we are hearing calls for a military campaign against Bashar Assad.”
Last Wednesday, footage began to emerge of civilians in a Damascus suburb suffering from what appeared to be the effects of a neurotoxic gas.
Medical aid group Doctors without Borders have reported that at least 355 people have died as a result of the incident.
The Syrian opposition, which has been involved in the 30-month conflict with the government of Bashar Assad, said state forces had been behind the attack. The Syrian government has denied the claims, saying that the use of chemical weapons after repeated warnings from the international community would be “illogical”.
In his conference, Lavrov questioned the rebel version of events.
“There is information that videos were posted on the internet hours before the purported attack, and other reasons to doubt the rebel narrative.”
“Those involved with the incident wanted to sabotage the upcoming Geneva peace talks. Maybe that was the motivation of those who created this story. The opposition obviously does not want to negotiate peacefully.”