Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the United States’ claim that Syria had used chemical weapons as “utter rubbish,” an expected pushback from Syria’s primary military and political ally.
“While the Syrian army is on the offensive, saying that it is the Syrian government that used chemical weapons is utter nonsense,” Putin told the Russian press, adding that the claim is mere “provocation” by the U.S., who should submit evidence of a chemical weapons attack to the United Nations.
“I would like to address Obama as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate,” Putin added. “Before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said this week it had determined that Syria had in fact used chemical weapons against its own citizens, in an attack that killed almost 1,500 Syrians, one-third of them children.
Russia is Syria’s main geopolitical supporter and provider of weapons; its veto on the U.N. Security Council significantly complicates the U.S.’s ability to intervene in the Syrian civil war.
[h/t ABC News]
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