US president Barack Obama is repeating the pattern of actions of his predecessor, George W. Bush, in his push for a military solution in Syria, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman of the Russian Duma, Aleksey Pushkov said.
“Obama is fiercely moving towards war in Syria, just like Bush
moved towards war in Iraq. Just like in Iraq, this war won’t be
legit and Obama will become Bush’s clone,” Pushkov wrote on
his Twitter page on Sunday.
Obama and UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, agreed in a phone conversation on Saturday that last week’s alleged chemical weapon attack near Damascus was “almost certainly” carried out by Bashar Assad’s Syrian government.
The two leaders reiterated that “significant use of chemical weapons would merit a serious response from the international community,” the Guardian newspaper reported.
The US and Britain suggested the Syrian government was reluctant to give a UN investigative team access to the site of the reported attack because it “has something to hide” and wants to give the evidence time to degrade.
On Sunday, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stressed that the US military is ready to expedite a military plan in Syria if the order comes from the country’s president.
“President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option – if he decides to employ one of those options," Hagel said.
A high-ranking source within the Israeli military told the Haaretz paper that Tel-Aviv is expecting a US attack on Syria any moment.
The Syrian authorities warned Washington against military
intervention. The country’s information minister, Omran
Zoabi, told the SANA news agency that the move “will create
very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the
His words were echoed by Syrian allies from Iran, with the Islamic Republic’s deputy chief of staff, Massoud Jazayeri, threatening “severe consequences for the White House” if the intervention begins.
Russia has stated that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict, urging the Western states pushing for a military intervention to “be reasonable and avoid tragic mistakes”
“The policies regarding the various crises must be built on the basis of international law and the verifiable facts, but not assumptions and conjectures, fitting unilateral geopolitical projects,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, is cited as saying by ITAR-TASS news agency.
The new escalation of tension around Syria began after the Western-backed rebels fighting to oust Assad accused the government forces of using toxic gas against civilians in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.
The opposition claimed that over a thousand people died in the attack, with the government saying the accusations were fabricated in order to cover up the Islamist’s battle losses.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also called reports of chemical weapon use “a provocation,” adding that, according to its data, the materials accusing the government of the atrocity were prepared ahead of the alleged incident actually taking place.
On Sunday, the Syrian government gave the “green light” for UN experts to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, with reports suggesting the investigation may start as early as Monday.
Since last year, president Obama has been warning that the US would take action in Syria if the country crosses a ‘red line’ by using chemical weapons.