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Russia warns US against Syria action
August 26, 2013, 7:10 am

Hagel says he was ordered by Obama to prepare the US military for all options regarding Syria [Xinhua]

Hagel says he was ordered by Obama to prepare the US military for all options regarding Syria [Xinhua]

Russia is warning the US not to repeat “past failures” when it considers its options in formulating policy in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds in towns near Damascus last week.

Doctors Without Borders reported earlier that some 355 Syrians where killed by neurotoxic elements last week. Syrian rebel militias blamed the forces of President Bashar Al Assad for launching an attack using chemical weapons. Assad’s government denied it was responsible for the attack.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council called for a “thorough, impartial and prompt investigation” into the attack.

Damascus said on August 25 that it would allow UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged attack, but Washington said the response was too late.

The Kremlin has repeatedly used Washington’s failure to find weapons of mass destruction – one of the pretexts for the 2003 invasion – in Iraq to warn the Obama administration not to intervene militarily in Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its position last week that the alleged chemical attack could have been a staged “provocation” by the Syrian opposition and that the US might use it as a pretext to start a military operation in Syria.

“We strongly urge those who, by attempting to impose their own results on the UN experts, are raising the possibility of a military operation in Syria to use their common sense and refrain from committing a tragic mistake,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Lukashevich in a statement provided to the media.

“All of this makes one recall the events that happened 10 years ago, when, using false information about Iraqis having weapons of mass destructions, the US bypassed the United Nations and started a scheme whose consequences are well known to everyone,” Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich’s statements after US media carried reports quoting Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as saying that President Barack Obama had told him to “prepare options for all contingencies”.

The media reports also indicated that the US was repositioning its fleet in the Mediterranean as Obama consulted with his French and British counterparts.

Source: Agencies

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