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Syria chemical attack claims aim to justify foreign interference – Moscow

Published time: December 27, 2012 10:41
Edited time: December 27, 2012 14:41
Syrian army soldiers patrol the Sheik Said neighbourhood of Syria's northern city of Aleppo.(AFP Photo / STR)

Syrian army soldiers patrol the Sheik Said neighbourhood of Syria's northern city of Aleppo.(AFP Photo / STR)

Accusations that forces backing Syrian President Assad allegedly used chemical weapons against the opposition is a provocation aimed at making an excuse for foreign military intervention, says the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Another goal of such reports is to stir up panic among Syrians and foreigners who remain in the country, the ministry’s spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told the media on Thursday.

The use of weapon of mass destruction is unacceptable, the diplomat stressed. The Syrian government repeatedly assured Russia, as well as Western partners and the UN that it would not use chemical weapons. Moscow is keeping a close watch on the situation and has no information that the Syrian government plans to use chemical arms.

“We hope that all opposition forces will assume similar obligations and strictly follow these commitments,” Lukashevich pointed out.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the use of chemical weapons “would be a political suicide” for Assad regime.

“Every time we hear rumors, or pieces of information come to surface that the Syrians are doing something with the chemical weapons we double-check, we triple-check, we go directly to the government and all the time we get very firm assurances that this is not going to be used under any circumstances,” he said in an exclusive interview with RT.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition claims the government troops did use chemical warfare in an attack on the city of Homs on Sunday, killing seven people and injuring dozens more with poison gas. A number of videos were posted online showing, opposition activists claim, victims of the alleged chemical attack.

Syria's Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad denied the report saying that the information “was absolutely wrong.”

"Naturally, it was a provocation and a part of plans to put psychological pressure on the government in Syria," he told Interfax. According to the diplomat, it is all done to make a pretext for a foreign intervention into the Arab Republic. He expressed hope though that thanks to Russian and Chinese efforts it will not happen.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council, Moscow and Beijing stand for a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

“The only path to put an end to the sufferings of Syrian people lies through a dialogue and talks,” Lukashevich reiterated on Thursday. On the whole, the situation in Syria is extremely complicated and “is following the most unfavorable scenario." Responsibility for continuing the bloodshed in the republic is laid with those who incite further fratricidal war in Syria, the Russian diplomat pointed out.

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